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  #1  
Old Apr 29, '12, 9:53 am
Elijah Baley's Avatar
Elijah Baley Elijah Baley is offline
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Default Practical Questions for New Evangelists

My confirmation sponsor and I decided we were tired waiting for priests to do everything. So, in the spirit of the New Evangelization and, to be redundant, the best of Vatican II ---
There are innumerable opportunities open to the laity for the exercise of their apostolate of evangelization and sanctification. The very testimony of their Christian life and good works done in a supernatural spirit have the power to draw men to belief and to God; for the Lord says, "Even so let your light shine before men in order that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven" (Matt. 5:16).

However, an apostolate of this kind does not consist only in the witness of one's way of life; a true apostle looks for opportunities to announce Christ by words addressed either to non-believers with a view to leading them to faith, or to the faithful with a view to instructing, strengthening, and encouraging them to a more fervent life. "For the charity of Christ impels us" (2 Cor. 5:14). The words of the Apostle should echo in all hearts, "Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel" (1 Cor. 9:16).(1)

Apostolicam actuositatem II, 6
--- we've discerned the need for a local evangelization group. While I'm sure there's a great deal we could learn on the fly, and yes, there's a certain simplicity in "just doing it," I'd rather first mine this forum for practical advice. I've already posted some of my ideas, but here I'd focus on practical questions:
  • What should we expect?
  • How should we prepare?
  • Which approaches work?

I loathe the scalping mentality some Protestants have and want to avoid it. The apocryphal St. Francis quote, while helpful, does not really address the active evangelization we're talking about. Also, I have some organizational questions:
  • Should we start a non-profit? If we do, how much time and money would it take?
  • Do we need canonical recognition from the bishop?
  • Does it cost anything to get a Nihil Obstat or Imprimatur? How long does it take?

I ask these questions so we can get started on the right track.
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  #2  
Old Apr 29, '12, 6:07 pm
Abu Abu is offline
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Default Re: Practical Questions for New Evangelists

It would be wise to become throughly imbued by the wealth of goodness in:
POST-SYNODAL APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION
CHRISTIFIDELES LAICI
OF HIS HOLINESS JOHN PAUL II (1988)
ON THE VOCATION AND THE MISSION OF THE LAY FAITHFUL IN THE CHURCH AND IN THE WORLD
http://tinyurl.com/2nrgk
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  #3  
Old Apr 30, '12, 12:05 am
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DavidFilmer DavidFilmer is offline
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Default Re: Practical Questions for New Evangelists

May I suggest an unusual but perfectly valid and effective approach: a full Parish census.

Everywhere that the Catholic Church has a presence (which is almost the entire world), the land is divided into Dioceses, and each Diocese is subdivided into Parishes (similar to states and counties - and, indeed, in the State of Louisiana, "counties" are called "parishes"). Thus, every square inch of land that you or I are ever likely to step upon is within the boundary of a particular Catholic Parish - usually anchored by a particular Catholic Church building/congregation (which is also called a "Parish").

The Pastor of a Catholic Parish is spiritually and canonically responsible for each and every person within his Parish boundaries - regardless of that person's faith (or lack thereof). If anyone (atheist, etc) requests the services of the Catholic priest who serves that person's Parish, the priest is obligated to respond. The priest is Pastor of his entire flock, even those who normally do not know his voice (in this way, the priest is an extension of his Bishop, and the Bishop is extended by the priest).

In most Catholic Parishes, the Pastor has little opportunity to know non-Catholics (or lapsed Catholics) living within his area of jurisdiction. Some Pastors will promote a Parish census - similar to the usual Federal 10-year census, but with a spiritual angle. This also promotes evangelical principles. Here is the planning document for various levels of Parish Census used in the Diocese of Cleveland, including a full Parish census.

But, in order to achieve the "double effect" of knowledge-gathering and evangelization, the census-takers must be somewhat trained in the Catholic Faith. It is not uncommon for census-takers to encounter lapsed Catholics who are simply waiting for someone to invite them back to Mass. Or people considering the Catholic Faith but do not know any Catholics to invite them to Mass (I was once one of those people).

Obviously, to engage in such a census would require full and informed consent of the Pastor. Some Pastors are reluctant to sanction such a census because they are not confident in the tact and apologetical ability PLUS restraint of the census-takers. Many Pastors are already stretched thin to recruit assistance in other vital areas of ministry. However, if you approach your Pastor with a skilled team and plan already in place, I doubt he would decline your offer.
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  #4  
Old Apr 30, '12, 11:00 pm
Della Della is offline
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Default Re: Practical Questions for New Evangelists

There's no need to start from scratch. Here's one group that might help you evangelize: http://www.christlife.org/. All the best and God bless.
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  #5  
Old May 1, '12, 8:17 pm
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Elijah Baley Elijah Baley is offline
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Default Re: Practical Questions for New Evangelists

Is ChristLife solid?
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  #6  
Old May 1, '12, 9:28 pm
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ahs ahs is offline
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Default Re: Practical Questions for New Evangelists

I highly recommend a book called "How NOT to share our Faith" by Brumley (Mike or Mark...can't remember). It is EXTREMELY helpful for those wanting to engage in evangelization in a way that will attract, not repel, others.
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  #7  
Old May 2, '12, 8:58 am
Della Della is offline
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Default Re: Practical Questions for New Evangelists

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elijah Baley View Post
Is ChristLife solid?
Ask for a sample of their materials or their credentials/read over their website--that's all I can suggest.

Not every program is an in depth presentation of the Catholic faith, but can still be faithful. If there is nothing contrary to Church teaching I would think it could be a place to start. And if nothing else, it could be a model for your own program. Just a few thoughts....
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"Sanctum erit, facere bonum" Della's blog: http://dellakmg.blogspot.com/
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