Celebrating the energy of Renew and fire of Christ
Nov. 4 event at Valley stadium offers music, prayer and fun
By Jeff Kurowski
Compass Assistant Editor
Music, messages and prayer will highlight an area wide Renew event on Saturday, Nov.
4, at Fox Cities Stadium, Grand Chute. The event, organized by St. Mary Parish,
Greenville, will celebrate the energy of Renew 2000 and the igniting of Christ's fire in
"It is a combination of recognizing the wrap-up of Renew 2000 and keeping this going,"
said Dcn. Rick Miech, who put together the program for the celebration, which runs from
10 a.m. to noon. "We hope to pass the torch to keep the spirit of Renew 2000 alive."
The program includes musicians from area parishes and featured speakers including Tom
Rinkoski, diocesan director of Family Life; Fr. Dan Felton, pastor of St. Raphael Parish,
Oshkosh; Sr. Mary Jo Kirt, director of the Mount Tabor Retreat Center; Jeannie
Hannemann, founder of Elizabeth Ministry; Katie Schultz and Stacy Simon, teens who
participated in the Catholic Heart Work Camp in West Bend; and Dcn. Pete Reinl of St.
Joseph Parish, Appleton. Dcn. Miech will serve as the master of ceremonies.
The five seasons of Renew will be the themes of the presentations.
"Musicians and speakers are being paired to work together," explained Dcn. Miech. "The
program is pretty tight with 18 minutes per season for prayer, music, motivation and
inspiration weaved together."
"People should not come to be entertained," said Peter Bekkers, who served as the site
coordinator for the event. "Come to participate."
Speakers and musicians will be located on a platform behind the pitcher's mound on the
field. Those attending will fill the Stadium seats. The doors open at 9:30 a.m. There is no
admission or parking fees, but freewill offerings will be accepted to help cover expenses.
Any donations beyond the costs will be donated to a local charity.
"We decided on the date for the close of Renew and understand the weather can be anything at this time of year," said Bekkers. "Children go out trick or treating, and people go to Packer games, so they should be prepared."
"Rain, shine, sleet or snow, it will take place," said Tom Wiltzius, chair of the steering committee for the event. "We are asking people to dress accordingly. If you wish to sit together as a group, make sure you enter together or save seats for others. We are not reserving seats."
St. Mary's invited 24 area parishes to the celebration, but anyone is welcome to attend. The committee members have no idea on the number of participants.
"We could have 50 or we could have 5,000," said Wiltzius. "It's in God's hands. The potential is exciting. We sent information to all area parishes who pray, play or work in the Valley."
Committee members initially discussed a tailgate celebration with refreshments following the program, but decided it was too costly. They are encouraging parish celebrations following the event.
"We are having a potluck dinner at our parish and hope that people gather at their parishes after the event to come together," said Wiltzius. "It is Renew in action."
"Maybe this will become an annual event," said Dcn. Miech. "This Spirit has pushed it and has opened doors. It has been met with a lot of positive energy."