Tag: John Recznik

Introducing the St. Catherine of Siena Society

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Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Last month, I gave an overview of all the amazing work the Lord has allowed us to accomplish over the past year and what we hope to continue to accomplish in the new year. This month, I want to announce a new initiative that could significantly contribute to our ability to continue being a clear voice for the Gospel for years to come.

We are launching the St. Catherine of Siena Legacy Society, which will enable our loyal supporters to continue their support after their deaths. Each year, a fair number of our supporters “move on” to the next stage of the mission, and when we are notified, we have a Mass said for each one of them. Periodically, we are notified also that a longtime supporter has remembered us in their will, and when that bequest arrives it always is experienced as an especially wonderful blessing. We want to extend this opportunity to everyone and so are establishing the St. Catherine of Siena Legacy Society for those who have decided to remember the mission of Renewal Ministries in their will or trust.

Why St. Catherine of Siena? She embodies our mission in many ways. She was deeply contemplative and deeply Charismatic. She communed continually with God in prayer and received amazing wisdom and insight from Him, and at the same time prophesied to the pope, cast out demons, healed the sick, and called many to repentance and a life of holiness.

She lived at a time of great crisis for the Church—with competing claimants to the papacy and the legitimate pope living in fear and subservient to the French political powers in Avignon, France. When she arrived in the papal court, she smelled the “stench of sin.” She even wrote passionately about the horror of homosexuality among the clergy and cowardly bishops who transferred offending clerics to other assignments without appropriate discipline. Her passion for the Lord and the renewal of the Church, combined with her deeply contemplative and Charismatic ministry, is inspiring to us. And so the name!

I would like to ask all of you, particularly those who are approaching—or in—retirement to consider naming Renewal Ministries in your final plans. You can leave a specific dollar amount, a percentage of your estate, or a percentage of what remains after your loved ones are taken care of. This can easily be arranged by adding a codicil to your will or an amendment to your trust. You may also wish to add Renewal Ministries as a charitable beneficiary when you update your will or trust, or by updating a beneficiary form for a life insurance policy, commercial annuity, retirement plan, etc. We have some good Catholic estate lawyers here in Ann Arbor who are friends of Renewal Ministries who can advise you how to do this if you need such help. All you need to do is include wording like this in your will:

If you live in the United States: I give and bequeath to Renewal Ministries Inc., 230 Collingwood, Suite 250, Ann Arbor, MI 48103, Tax ID 38-2385975, the sum of $__________  (or % of residual estate) for its general uses and purposes.

If you live in Canada: I give and bequeath to Catholic Renewal Ministries Inc., 331 Evans Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M8Z 1K2, Registration No. 12374-0243-RR0001, the sum of $__________  (or % of residual estate) for its general uses and purposes.

When you name Renewal Ministries, you should include either our US or Canadian address, legal name, and Tax ID number (depending on where you live) so there won’t be confusion with other similar non-profit organizations.

When considering such donations, people sometimes ask me about Renewal Ministries’ longevity. Our goal isn’t to go on forever, but to go on as long as the Lord gives us strength, capable colleagues, and sufficient financial support. In that regard, things are looking very promising.

The Lord has provided us with a good range of ages in the leadership of Renewal Ministries, and even if one of us was no longer here, the remaining team and new people the Lord may add to it would be able to carry on quite effectively. My own father lived until he was ninety two—active and alert to the day he died—and I have no plans to retire, as I don’t consider this a job, but a mission, and I have as much energy and zeal for the Gospel as ever. Peter Herbeck is sixteen years younger than me, and Pete Burak is considerably younger than Peter—so succession is looking good as well.

Plus, we have two excellent boards, one for the US and one for Canada, with very capable people and truly excellent Episcopal advisors, Archbishop Robert Carlson, of St. Louis, and Cardinal Thomas Collins, of Toronto. In the extreme eventuality that Renewal Ministries didn’t have the leadership to continue, the board would transfer any assets to similar ministries that would clearly fulfill important aspects of Renewal Ministries’ mission.

If you have any questions about signing up for the St. Catherine of Siena Legacy Society, feel free to contact our Director of Mission Advancement John Recznik, at 734-662-1730 or jrecznik@renewalministries.net. You can also visit our website, at www.RenewalMinistries.net/plannedgiving.

Anyone who decides to remember us in their will or trust will receive a plaque of recognition and gratitude, as well as a picture of St. Catherine and a complimentary set of my CD album on St. Catherine’s life and teaching.

Thank you for considering this important new initiative as we enter 2019.

Your brother in Christ,



Recznik Named Director of Mission Advancement

john recznik
From l-r, Sr. Ann Shields, SGL; Pete Burak; John Recznik; Peter Herbeck; and Ralph Martin.

The Renewal Ministries’ family recently welcomed John Recznik as the Director of Mission Advancement.

Ralph Martin explained the purpose of this new position: “As more doors open for us to serve the wider Church, it has become increasingly difficult for us to get to know some of our donors, as we had previously been able to do. We are grateful John will be able to represent us and the mission of Renewal Ministries to our existing and potential donors. If he is ever in your area, I hope you can make time to see him!”

John has twenty-seven years of experience in retail management. He managed the Franciscan University of Steubenville’s (FUS) bookstore for over nineteen years. His skills from FUS will help him “communicate to our supporters the mission of Renewal Ministries and its many different facets,” he said.

In February, John said he started to feel “a nudge from the Lord that maybe there was another type of work or management He wanted me to do.”

However, nothing else seemed to be the right fit. Then, while visiting his son over Memorial Day weekend, John heard the Lord speak to him in prayer: “I have a non-profit for you. It’s a greenhouse, and you can make it grow.”

John shared the experience with his wife, Mary, and they wrote it down and spent the next month praying about it. Later, John’s son said he had a friend hoping to hire someone for donor relations. That friend was Pete Burak, the director of i.d.9:16.

John submitted his resume, interviewed, and was offered the position on August 4. That date is significant, because many years earlier, John heard the Lord say, “Seventeen years, time to move.” He had written those words down and pondered what they could mean. While moving, John had to look up the date that he and his wife had purchased their home. It was Aug. 5, 1999; the date John received the Renewal Ministries’ job was the last day of their seventeenth year in that home.

All this affirmation was important, because John and Mary had to leave a close-knit community—all of John’s eight siblings and their families; his parents; and the Community of God’s Love, of which they had been members for thirty-two years.

In fact, John’s conversion and Ralph Martin’s A Crisis of Truth both helped lead his entire family to Steubenville. John shared his testimony:

I was born and raised Catholic, but I fell away as a teen. For seven years, I pursued what the world had to offer—alcohol, drugs, rock and roll. Then, in 1982, I went to a prayer meeting. I went to give my life to Jesus. One of my family members had recently given their life to the Lord, and I knew it was time for me to make that commitment, and to let Him fix my life.

That night, the Lord completely removed any desire for drinking or drugs. It started me on a new path of daily prayer and walking with Him. I landed in a Catholic Church and felt the Lord say, “Bloom where you are planted.” Then, I read A Crisis of Truth, in which Ralph said that the only university he recommended was the Franciscan University of Steubenville. So I moved there in 1984 with my brother and sister and later met my wife there.

Within five years, all of John’s siblings and his parents had moved to Steubenville from Amherst, Ohio. John explained: “The baptism of the Holy Spirit moved through my entire family.”

Fortunately, John and Mary’s children are now all living in Michigan—the youngest two because of John’s own move. They have three children: a son Eddie, who has a wife and four children; a son Casey, who has a wife and two children; and a daughter, Joanie, who is working and getting involved in the i.d.9:16 community.

John said, “Fr. Mike Scanlan (former FUS president and Renewal Ministries’ close friend and former board member who passed away earlier this year) hugely influenced my life, and to come here with Ralph, Peter, Sr. Ann, and Pete, and to work with them in their mission of spreading the Gospel is inspiring. I look forward to getting to know Renewal Ministries’ supporters, to meeting these people of faith from around the country, and to providing them with the opportunity to receive the blessings that Lord has for them, as they choose to support Renewal Ministries’ mission.”

Peter Herbeck explained why John was the best fit for this position: “Beside that fact that John had impressed us in the interview, in choosing him, it felt like Fr. Scanlan was there with us. We worked so closely with Fr. Mike, and John has that same heart and spirit.”