Tear flowed like a river, said people on the campus of St. Joseph Calasanz Catholic Church during the most recent CRHP weekend for men. CRHP stands for Christ Renews His Parish, a spiritual rebirth program that has spread like a crying virus throughout the country.
Observers could not believe how much crying happened. “The janitor had to bring an extra mop to clean up the floor” after the CRHP brothers left for their closing mass, according to a St Joe’s parishioner.
Outsiders have speculated if readings from The Book of Lamentations, renowned as the saddest book in the Bible, are part of CRHP. But insiders say no, they generate their own sadness without the help of scripture.
Stories told by redeemed Christians were said to cause the crying. Although retreat participants were sworn to secrecy, hints of the stories leaked out. Babies being born and serendipitous meetings with future wives were among the most cry-inducing stories.
“Every time somebody mentioned his kid being born the room erupted in tears” according to one participant who requested anonymity.
Stories about overcoming addiction and dabbling in other religions, although common, did not seem to induce tears.
CRHP participants stay over night on church grounds and are advised to bring several t-shirts because of how wet their clothing gets from all the crying. Weeping often happens in hugs with other men.
Red-eyed CRHPers interviewed mentioned the ancient Greek notion of Catharsis – a spiritual rebirth caused by the release of emotion through intense weeping, is an integral part of the benefit CRHP brings to participants.
“Sometimes you just need a good cry,” one said.
The women’s CRHP retreat is the weekend after next and is expected to yield at least as many tears as the Men’s retreat.