Christ Renews His Parish (CRHP, often pronounced Chirp) is a parish based retreat program. CRHP is a renewal process that is recommended by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. Christ Renews His Parish first began at Holy Family parish in Parma, Ohio in 1969 as a weekend of renewal. CRHP has now been implemented in not only the United States but several other countries as well. Over 500,000 people have participated in a Christ Renews His Parish retreat weekend.
The weekend is about 30 hours long, generally running from 8 o’clock on Saturday morning until about 4 o’clock Sunday afternoon. During the CRHP weekend participants stay somewhere on parish property. Sometimes this might be at the parish center or, like at my parish, the classrooms of the parish school. By staying on parish grounds participants increase their bond of faith as a parish community.
CRHP weekends are gender specific and most parishes offering Christ Renews His Parish hold 4 renewal weekends per year – 2 for women and 2 for men.
Team members are lay people from the parish who have previously experienced a renewal weekend and who have felt called to continue with the spiritual formation process.
What happens on the retreat weekend?
The heart of the weekend includes several talks from team members who share their personal stories of faith with participants. There are also group activities, Scripture sharing and discussions on Christian living. The most important element is the opportunity each participant has to deepen his or her relationship with Jesus.
The atmosphere of a CRHP weekend is very relaxed and dress is casual. Meals and snacks are provided. Generally parish members, usually comprised of a team of those who have previously attended a CRHP retreat, prepare the meals.
There is a Reconciliation service, including the opportunity for participants to celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation. And of course, Mass is celebrated during the renewal weekend.
I attended a CRHP retreat weekend in February 2008, and served on the formation team in September 2008. The retreat weekend was a wonderful experience that truly renewed and deepened my relationship with Jesus. Being part of the formation team was an amazing spiritual journey with a group of women I now consider my sisters.
If you have the opportunity to participate in a Christ Renews His Parish retreat, do! It is so worth it. And if you feel the call to continue, listen and respond with a “Yes!” You won’t be disappointed. The weekend is amazing; continuing with the formation process is even more so.
Bringing CRHP to Your Parish or Diocese
To implement Christ Renews His Parish contact a local parish that offers CRHP and invite their team members to hold a renewal weekend at your parish. If CRHP is not offered in your diocese or at a nearby parish, request more information from the CRHP national office:
Christ Renews His Parish
P.O. Box 19100
Cleveland, OH 44119
Peace in Christ,