Articles Under: Evangelization

Our parish recently hosted a major event in collaboration with two local parishes in our area. The speaker was well-known; and as the volunteers gathered in a circle with him to pray before the event, I looked up at one point and noticed something striking: a full seventy-five percent of the volunteers standing in the circle were past RCIA participants! As the RCIA Director of this small to mid-sized parish of around six hundred families, I was thrilled. I silently added a prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord for doing great things for us, because I was certainly filled with... Read more
“We, the ordinary people of the streets, believe with all our might that this street, this world, where God has placed us, is our place of holiness.” Her words are a clarion call. Madeleine Delbrêl, a French laywoman made venerable in February of 2018, invites us to believe—passionately—that there is nothing accidental about our lives, about where we live, about the people whom we meet. That when we love, right where we are, we electrify the earth with God’s presence. “Our feet march upon a street, but our heartbeat reverberates through the whole world.” [1] I first read her words... Read more
When my kids were little, I had the privilege of serving as a catechist at my parish. My experience as a catechist and then later as a DRE and a diocesan leader convinced me that something more was needed in the process of faith formation to help children make their faith real. Year after year, I witnessed children completing their lessons and receiving the sacraments, without any visible sign of conversion or attachment to the person of Jesus Christ. It was like pouring water on a rock; nothing seemed to stick. My experience is not uncommon. In my role as... Read more
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Un día hace como 6 años, mientras trabajaba como Director de Formación Religiosa en una parroquia católica rural, estaba en mi oficina echando un vistazo a Facebook . Vi la imagen de un evangelista católico en un malecón público evangelizando a un hombre que portaba un casco de Darth Vader y montado en un monociclo. Por supuesto que tuve que darle clic al link para leer la historia acerca de St. Paul Street Evangelization (Evangelización Callejera San Pablo). Me puse en contacto con el apostolado y eché a andar un equipo en mi parroquia. Admito que en realidad no me... Read more
One day about 6 years ago, when I worked as a Director of Religious Education for a rural Catholic parish, I was in my office browsing Facebook . I saw an image of a Catholic evangelist on a boardwalk out in public evangelizing a man wearing a Darth Vader helmet and riding a unicycle. Of course, I had to click through the link to read the story about St. Paul Street Evangelization. I contacted the ministry and started a team at my parish. I admit that I didn’t actually expect that direct evangelization would be fruitful, at least I didn’t... Read more
This article is the second installment of a two-part discussion of an area of critical importance for those working in any ministry setting—clergy or laity—whose interactions with others require mentoring skills, evangelical hospitality, ongoing pastoral interactions in the course of catechetical work, small group facilitation, parenting, nurturing, and intercessory prayer outreach. The first article addressed pastoral accompaniment’s fundamental relation to good catechetics. This second article will explore practical and creative ways to implement such formation in ministry settings. Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” – Matthew 26:38... Read more
Finding God in Poverty The most memorable statement from the angry email was, “This is not what my son signed up for.” Three weeks prior to departure, I had finally informed our youth group of some final needs for our summer mission trip to Hardin County, Kentucky: a sleeping pad or air mattress, as we would likely be sleeping on a floor, and a swim suit—mainly for the tarpaulin-screened bucket baths we would be taking. “Kevin McQuiggen’s” mother was distressed by the conditions in which her son would be living for the week of the trip. The theme for the... Read more
“I know my kid has problems, but at least she’s not on drugs!” You’ll hear this uttered by moms appealing to their child’s teacher or by fathers trying to rationalize their son’s lackluster behavior. The intent of the phrase is to make one’s existing defects of character seem less significant when compared to someone who has “real” problems. In fact, I remember a mildly heated conversation during my own teen years, when my parents were beside themselves trying to get me to manage my personal life. My mom, sensing the tension and realizing that I really was a good kid,... Read more
Since its initial presentation almost forty years ago, Pope St. John Paul II’s catechesis Man and Woman He Created Them (henceforth “Theology of the Body” or TOB) has borne inestimable fruits in the personal faith lives of countless men and women, in the life of the Church and its theology, and in the world at large. In my own work, I have seen firsthand just how transformative the TOB vision of sex, love, marriage, human personhood, and the mystery of redemption in Christ can be for those answering Christ’s call to discipleship. So much good has come from St. John... Read more