THE SPONSOR – MY BROTHER’S AND SISTER’S KEEPER
Did you know that the Lord’s work through Via de Cristo is in your hands? You are considering or have agreed, hopefully after much prayer, to sponsor a man or woman for a weekend that may change that person’s entire life. When you completed your weekend, the final statement to you was “Christ is counting on you.” And you responded, “I am counting on Him.” Now the question is “Will you be your brother’s and sister’s keeper?”
By agreeing to be a sponsor you will be undertaking tremendous responsibilities. First of all, you should be hesitant to sponsor someone who is not active in his or her congregation. That does not mean the person must be on a church board or be a Sunday School teacher, but he or she should worship regularly and participate in some area of church life. And remember, Via de Cristo is not intended to replace a marriage counselor or Alcoholics Anonymous. Problems such as these are better handled by professionally trained pastors and doctors.
When a person has expressed interest in Via de Cristo, make sure you take the time to explain, preferably to the couple together, what Via de Cristo is about. You should give them the Via de Cristo brochure, included in this package, which explains generally what to expect from the weekend. If your brother or sister happens to be a pastor, it would be a good idea to contact one of the spiritual directors who will be glad to explain Via de Cristo in more depth.
It is your responsibility to pick up the person you are sponsoring and take him or her to the weekend. The weekends start on Thursday evening at 7:00 pm. You may want to take your pilgrim to dinner on the way to the weekend. Be sure to be on time to check him or her in with the Pre-Weekend Chairman.
Please check on the family during the weekend and be sensitive to any special needs. Let the family know approximately what time to expect the pilgrim home on Sunday evening. You must attend the Closura service and see your friend safely home. Since dinner is not served Sunday night, it would make a homecoming more pleasant if you fed the new cristoista on the way home. He or she may prefer, however, a speedy return home to dinner.
When the weekend is over, your job has not ended. It is vital that Via de Cristo be a continuing experience, so make sure the cristoista finds a reunion group. Keep tabs on him or her so if he or she is not happy, you can help him change groups. If he or she is not very involved at church, discuss with your pastor ways he or she can be brought into the work of the congregation. You should also bring the cristoista to the first Ultreya.
Most importantly, pray – for Christ is counting on you, and you are your brother’s and sister’s keeper.