2019 St. Joseph Parish Mission

“How to be Truly Holy in the Modern World”
March 16-19, 2019

What is a “parish mission?”
A parish mission is a series of talks designed to help us dig deeper into our Catholic faith. Think parish-wide retreat, but in a more condensed time frame. Each session, with the exception of our Saturday morning talk, will be about 1.5 hours. There is no cost to attend and no requirement to come to every session. Come to one, or come to all!

Who is speaking?
We are very excited to welcome Dr. John Bergsma, Professor of Theology at Franciscan University of Stuebenville. He is a former Protestant pastor who entered the Catholic Church in 2001 while getting his Ph.D. in Bible from the University of Notre Dame. A close collaborator of Dr. Scott Hahn, Dr. Bergsma speaks regularly on Catholic radio and at conferences and parishes nationally and internationally.

What are the sessions about?
We are offering four sessions, beginning with a special breakout session for parent on Saturday, March 16. Check out the descriptions below:


Saturday, March 16: 9 AM - 12 PM
Seven Habits of Holy, Effective Catholic Families

How can we make our families Catholic and keep them Catholic? It's not going to happen by chance! Parents need to make it happen. In this hard-hitting talk, Dr. Bergsma explains seven essential habits every Catholic family needs to practice in order to keep the faith, spread the faith, and hand it on to the next generation.

In this session, we’ll cover the following questions: (1) What steps can families implement to grow in holiness? (2) What insight does St. Josemaria Escriva offer to families? (3) How can we best serve our children in remaining Catholic?

We’re offering childcare for this session! Space is limited, so please pre-register children by February 22 by emailing afield@sjcissaquah.org

Sunday, March 17: 7 PM - 8:30 PM
Proofs for the Existence of God: How Modern Science Points to a Creator

Authors are writing New York Times’ bestsellers claiming that the Bible is corrupt myth and evolution somehow proves there is no God.

What is the Catholic response? What do the Bible and the Church teach about the origin of the universe, life, and humanity? Has God been “disproven” by modern science?

This session will take place in lieu of our usual faith formation activities on Sunday evening. We highly recommend making it a family event and bringing your school-age kids to this talk!

Monday, March 18: 7 PM - 8:30 PM
Seven Habits of Holy, Effective Catholics

What does it take to be effective in the Catholic life? Is it enough to go to Mass once a week and confession once a year? Or should lay Catholics be trying to pray the whole Liturgy of the Hours every day? What practices can help a regular Catholic grow without being unrealistic?

St. Josemara Escriva, the "saint of the ordinary," thought a great deal about how lay Catholics should arrange their daily schedule. In this talk, Dr. Bergsma, who follows the spirituality of St. Josemaria, explains seven daily habits of prayer the saint recommended for lay Catholics who want to become spiritually effective.



Tuesday, March 19: 7 PM - 8:30 PM
Spiritual Warfare: The Power of a Sacrament

Dr. Bergsma believed for most of his life that confession was a human rule, invented by the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages. He thought, “Why would you confess your sins to a mere man?”

In this talk he describes how he came to a different point of view, through his experiences as a Protestant pastor in spiritual warfare.

Whether you attend confession on a regular basis, or haven’t been in years, we encourage you to check your preconceived notions about confession at the door and come prepared to open your hearts and minds to a new way of viewing this sacrament.


Parishioners of all ages are welcome to attend!
Please contact our mission organizer, Jill Carr (
jcarr@sjcissaquah.org), with any questions you may have.