About Light of the World
September 7, 2023
Light of the World Evangelization Ministries, Inc., is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Its inspiration began with the SINE retreats (Systematic Integration of the New Evangelization) developed by Father Alfonso Navarro, MSpSC, of Mexico City in the 1970s. SINE is a parish-based model for building faith communities and missionary parishes.
In 1991, Ernesto Elizondo (now Father Elizondo) was invited by Msgr. Daniel Hermes to host the first SINE retreat at Holy Family Parish in Rockford. Three retreats were held that year, small faith communities were formed, and parishioners from Holy Family began leading the retreats for the parish and volunteered to bring SINE to other area parishes.
In 2000, Msgr. Hermes and parishioners Jeanne Leezer and Ellie Nelson designed Light of the World, which, like SINE, focused on proclaiming the kerygma — the joyful announcement that Jesus Christ is a living person to be encountered and who, through His resurrection, has defeated sin and death. LOTW drew inspiration from SINE and from other existing Catholic evangelization processes.
Holy Family volunteers took LOTW to other parishes beginning with the fall 2002 LOTW retreat that was brought to St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Crystal Lake, attended by its future executive director, JoEllen Gregus.
An imprimatur was granted for LOTW by Bishop Thomas G. Doran on April 13, 2005.
Light of the World retreats continue to be offered to Catholic parishes in the Diocese of Rockford and around the country.
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