Dynamic parish mission on its way to Olpe

by Bob Hart
Special to The Leaven

OLPE — A promotion at work. A boat. A house with more square footage.

These are three things Jon Leonetti is certain will not bring you happiness.

The Catholic speaker, author and radio host believes lasting fulfillment can only be found in an understanding of God and a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ. He will bring his acclaimed parish mission presentation to St. Joseph Church in Olpe Jan. 13-15.

“Our culture tells us we need to fill ourselves. That’s why self-help books are the most popular genre these days,” Leonetti said. “But a bigger 401(k) isn’t going to do it. 

“When we seek lasting fulfillment, it can only come through recognizing the God in us, which is something the Catholic Church has been teaching for 2018 years.”

Kay Mason-Schmidt, family minister coordinator at St. Joseph, said the parish’s location in the southernmost area of the archdiocese can make it difficult for parishioners to attend parish missions in Kansas City.

“This will be our fourth year of bringing in a speaker to our church,” she said. “It is our job to evangelize to others, and having guest speakers helps our parishioners to learn  how to deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ so they can go out and spread the word to others.” 

She added that everyone is encouraged to attend, whether a member of the parish or not.

“Everyone is welcome,” she said. “We hope to fill up the church.”

Based in Iowa, Leonetti has traveled the country for eight years conducting parish missions, with recent stops in South Carolina, Missouri and Florida. He said his presentation style is “high energy” and the mission is “a retreat for very busy people.” 

He also outlined what people can expect from each of the three 70-minute evening presentations.

The first evening will be devoted to answering two fundamental questions: “Who is God?” and “Why does that matter?” On the second evening, Leonetti will present stories of the saints or, as he calls them, “the greatest men and women who ever walked the earth.” 

Finally, on the third night, he will talk about how each person can be more like the saints by doing three things they did every day. He also promised to share a story of “a miracle” he and his wife experienced. 

Leonetti is the author of three books: “Mission of the Family”; “Your God Is Too Boring”; and, “The Art of Getting Over Yourself: And Why You’ll Be Happier When You Do.” He also maintains the website at: jonleonetti.com.

The parish mission will be held at St. Joseph Church, located at 306 Iowa St., on Jan. 13, 14 and 15 from 7 to 8:10 p.m. Those interested in more information may call (620) 475-3326.

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