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Practical Evangelization

Tools to equip and support your call to live out the New Evangelization in your home, workplace, and community. These are boots-on-the-ground tested resources that we know have helped Catholics like you more effectively share their faith with family and friends. 

Forming Missionary Disciples

Posted in Practical Evangelization

"Discipleship" is often a buzzword in the church - used in numerous contexts and for varying purposes.  For our purposes, discipleship is an active response to a relationship with Christ.  Discipleship is active. It happens on purpose.  Author of the book Forming Intentional Disciples, Sherry Weddell, said, "You don't do [discipleship] accidentally; you don't do it in your sleep." 

Relationship is at the heart of discipleship 

This means that it is not a pyramid or mountain of perfection to climb.    It is a journey of growing - of knowing, loving, and serving Jesus, His Church, and one another more and more deeply.     

The USCCB has outlined a four step methodology for helping people to grow on their discipleship journey.  This Encounter, Accompaniment, Community, Mission methodology is outlined in the USCCB document Living as Missionary Disciples: A Resource for Evangelization. While not exhaustive, this resource includes some good reflections on each of the four areas of evangelization methodology.

We have provided some of our own reflections on what each of these moments on the discipleship journey might look like - both in your personal life and your parish.  You can access these reflections by click on the (+) next to each movement.   

Living the Faith: Send

Posted in Practical Evangelization

Evangelizing is in fact the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity. She exists in order to evangelize, that is to say, in order to preach and teach, to be the channel of the gift of grace, to reconcile sinners with God, and to perpetuate Christ’s sacrifice in the Mass, which is the memorial of His death and glorious resurrection.” Pope Paul VI, Evangelii Nuntiandi, 14

The commitment to living the Christian life is an essential element of the culture of witness. We witness to the Christian life through living out our respective vocations. As St. Peter tells us, we must “always be ready to give an explanation to anyone
who asks . . . for a reason for [our] hope” (1 Pt 3:15). We should be looking for ways to share with others the way we have experienced the salvific love of Jesus Christ. As Bl. Paul VI said, “In the long run, is there any other way of handing on the Gospel than by transmitting to another person one’s personal experience of faith?”

Living the Faith: Community

Posted in Practical Evangelization

 

“The faithful are fed by Christ's holy body and blood to grow in the communion of the Holy Spirit (koinonia) and to communicate it to the world.” (CCC, 948).

 

The Church in the United States is a community of faith that is composed of members of many different cultures. Respect, understanding, and openness to this diversity is key to assisting all in having a personal encounter with Christ and growing as missionary disciples.

Koinonia: A Deeper Understanding of Community

When we talk about community and fellowship in a context of missionary discipleship, we mean more than simply an assembly of like persons who share a belief system and who mutually affirm each other.   No, the kind of community we are seeking goes much deeper - depicings an interactive relationship between God and believers who are sharing new life through Christ.

Living the Faith: Accompaniment

Posted in Practical Evangelization

 

“The Church will have to initiate everyone—priests, religious and laity—into this ‘art of accompaniment’ which teaches us to remove our sandals before the sacred ground of the other” (cf. Ex 3:5).

 

The Good News of Accompaniment

The parish must provide experienced missionary disciples who can accompany those who are returning to the Church and guide them throughout their journey. In accompanying others, the disciple possesses a love for others and the Church by being welcoming and hospitable. The disciple must be willing to walk with others, share the Good News, and help others grow in their faith and live in solidarity with others.

Living the Faith: Encounter

Posted in Practical Evangelization

All Christians are invited to a “renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ” (Evangelii Gaudium, no. 9).

Christ calls all people to himself in his Body, the Church, through the workings of the Holy Spirit, so that we can enter into a personal relationship with God the Father. “In virtue of their baptism, all the members of the People of God have become missionary disciples” (Evangelii Gaudium, no. 120).

Reflective reading, lectio divina, and the study of Scripture will aid in deepening the encounter with Christ. The Sunday homily breaks open the Word of God by stirring the hearts of people, deepening our knowledge of the faith, renewing our participation in the Church and her sacraments, and strengthening us for the
daily challenges of life. By participating in Mass, learning common prayers, and practicing personal and public devotions, Christians appropriate the teachings of the faith into their own lives and are sent forth to witness Christ.

Discipleship involves helping people enter into a personal encounter with Christ through prayer, Scripture, the sacraments, works of mercy, and faith formation.

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