For Parish Leaders

Living Easter as a Parish

on Tuesday, 02 May 2017. Fr. Herb Weber Posted in Easter, For Parish Leaders

Living Easter as a Parish

Shortly after I was ordained, I was asked to give a tour of our parish church to an interdenominational group.  A woman stopped me and asked, “Don’t Catholics believe in the resurrection of Jesus?” I assured that we not only believed, but that that doctrine is central to our understanding of salvation. 

At that, the woman pointed to the crucifix and added, “Then why do you still depict Jesus dying instead of having an empty cross?”

I admit that I was surprised by the woman’s assumption, but since then I have become grateful for her questioning. Having grown up Catholic and having looked at a lifetime of crucifixes, I had never found any contradiction in seeing Jesus on the Cross and believing that Jesus rose from the dead.

Examination of Conscience for Evangelizers

on Wednesday, 01 February 2017. Kristin Bird Posted in New Evangelization, For Parish Leaders, Burning Hearts Disciples

Examination of Conscience for Evangelizers

“Every Christian is challenged, here and now, to be actively engaged in evangelization. Every Christian is a missionary to the extent that he or she has encountered the love of God in Christ Jesus: ... we are always ‘missionary disciples’. So what are we waiting for?” (Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel, 120)

I am an evangelization fraud

It's true.  While I am regularly reading books on the New Evangelization, and am firmly committed to the 'art of accompaniment' as a theory, I’m not very good at it in practice.

Pope Francis has some harsh words for me in Evangelii Gaudium:

“Not to put the word into practice, not to make it reality, is to build on sand, to remain in the realm of pure ideas and to end up in a lifeless and unfruitful self-centredness and Gnosticism.” (EG, 233)

Fortunately, I am not alone.  I ran across an excellent article by Dcn. Charles Fernandes of the Diocese of Hamilton where he admits to also being a "faithful—but sometimes overly passive—Catholic." 

Our own intransigence, our unwillingness to evangelize, is by far the harshest theme in Evangelii Gaudium, the most difficult for me personally to hear.

In his lengthy personal response to reading and praying through The Joy of The Gospel, Deacon Frenandes pulls out a particularly useful examination of conscience for those of us invovled in the promotion, work, and support of evangelization.

 

Resource Review: A Church on the Move

on Wednesday, 18 January 2017. Kristin Bird Posted in For Parish Leaders, Resource Reviews

A Church on the Move:  52 Ways to Get Mission and Mercy in Motion
by Joe Paprocki

A Church on the Move by Joe Paprocki

A Church on the Move offers 52 practical strategies for moving parishes forward, principally by focusing on the one thing the Church can offer that the world-at-large cannot: Jesus Christ.

 

Pray Your Way to an Evangelizing Heart

on Thursday, 01 September 2016. Kristin Bird Posted in New Evangelization, For Parish Leaders, Prayer

Pray Your Way to an Evangelizing Heart

At it's core, the New Evangelization has everything to do with this question: Do I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?

If we want to be intentional disciples who live the New Evanglization in our parishes, schools, workplaces, and homes, we must begin by deepening our own relationships with God.

A central tenet of Pope Benedict XVI's teaching on the New Evangelization focused on the centrality of prayer in this mission. Benedict XVI understands prayer as holding a two-fold significance in evangelization:

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