Making Disciples Today: Blog

The Making Disciples Today Blog has reflections to help you grow in your journey of missionary discipleship, reviews on recommended Catholic evangelization resources, and practical insight on how to evangelize in your daily life. 

Episode 2:  Breaking Away from Buzzword Bingo: What Does Catholic Parish Renewal Look Like

Episode Summary: 

Deacon Keith, Executive Director of M3 Ministries, and Kristin Bird, Executive Director of Burning Hearts Disciples, and Rachel Espinoza, Director of Family Faith Formation & Evangelization for St. Clement Parish try to cut through the buzzwords and talk about what parish renewal really looks like? How can we tell if our parish is truly being renewed? How can we avoid dead ends and wasting our time? View Show Notes.

In the Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis talks about the essential role of listening in evangelization and discipleship:

“We need to practice the art of listening, which is more than simply hearing. Listening...is an openness of heart which makes possible that closeness without which genuine spiritual cannot occur. Listening helps us to find the right gesture and word which shows that we are more than simply bystanders. Only through such respectful and compassionate listening can we enter on the paths of true growth and awaken a yearning for the Christian ideal: the desire to respond fully to God's love and to bring to fruition what he has sown in our lives.”

Real talk with real disciples who are living and working in the trenches of parish renewal and transformation.

No sugarcoating. No silver bullets. No pie in the sky theoretical concepts that feel impossible to translate into real parish life.

We share stories, talk about what works and what doesn't, and bring on some amazing guests. Come on and join us!

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.