My thought is that the priests would need some guidelines about what to do and how about evangelization, and include many dynamic, energetic parishioners who are fire for the faith to help get certain kinds of things started.
I recently read a book titled “Catholic Street Evangelization” …Stories of Conversion and Witness, edited by Steve Dawson.
In it I read the story of how this group got started, and how they go about evangelizing in public.
This group has grown into many groups and are doing wonderful things.
Wow!..What great true stories and the wonderful conversion experiences they started!
You might see if your pastor is open to having the parish host Alpha for Catholics. One of the local parishes is doing that program and it is bringing about much growth and renewal. Is your pastor open to allowing Bible studies through Ascension Press, Word on Fire or some other quality Catholic publishing company? If you were willing to host it and offered that – it might be something your pastor would be grateful to have. Perhaps the couple that is considering the longer drive to a different parish might be willing to get involved in and partner with you on setting up. The resources are out there. I wouldn’t get caught up in the words “New Evangelization” – it could be called anything as long as the idea and the vision is there.
…the main problem in the Church is the “trickle down” effect (which also fails on the opposite direction).
Over a decade ago I was involved in a “Pastoral Plan…” Got so into it that I ended up being drafted into a leadership position. I took it to heart… spent time and personal finances organizing meetings, polls, inter-parish cooperation… well as they say in French: “c’est la vie” (it went the way of most fads).
As far as I can remember the first mention of “New Evangelization” goes back to St. John Paul II’s Papacy. He effectively pushed through all the red-tapes (Church and world’s) and engaged the New Evangelization through writings, tours, and, still active, World Youth Day.
,here’s where the trickle down fails–sadly, at least in the parishes that I’ve visited, it would take earthquakes, wars, eruption of volcanoes, raised sea level, sinkholes, chupacabra stampedes, and Ponce de Leon to cause both clerics and laity to consider embracing Evangelization.
Don’t get me wrong, as far as “Evangelization as usual” local parishes (and I suspect this taking place worldwide) continue to function within their “normal parameters.”
The problem is that those “parameters” peaked at the beginning of the 20th century. The cultural changes that took place in the world were too fast and numerous to be effectively countered with the Church’s ancient modus operandi. The Church does not need to reinvent the wheel (redefine Doctrine); but it must accept that the twentieth century ushered in the old-new godless society–though it is true that nietzsche did die, he reawakened the primeval knucklehead in man who must, by default, remove God from his environment in order to become the all powerful and self-sufficient super-man. It is this mindset that the Church must address through an active worldwide New Evangelization.
…don’t forget that the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, is not made up only of clerics and religious–laity must also engage their Faith through active involvement in local, national, and international events/functions. Sadly, most Catholics only become active when warring against the Church (once they “convert” to non-Catholic religions or apostasy all together).
Dead on!! In fact this might almost be said to be the “age of the laity.” One might look at the laymen teaching at Franciscan University, writing amazing books, and evangelizing like we have never seen before! I believe Scott Hahn is chanelling Apollo from Acts in that he is Mighty in Scripture. We might also remember that nuns, although religious, are considered laity as well (not being clergy.) So Mother Angelica is another shining light in that department. :D;)
The fact is that most Christians, of all persuasions have little or no idea about how to effectively share their faith.
People get the mistaken impression that we Catholics don’t do it and many don’t but most have never been taught the whys and wherefores of evangelism.
The main reason that n-Cs seem so into it is because even though they really don’t have that many more people invoked in faith sharing, but the ones they do have are often more visible and even aggressive.
However, guys like John Martignoni, Devon Rose, and apostolates like Catholic Answers and St. Paul Street Evangelization are right in the middle of the new evangelization and so I encourage you to look into them all and see where you too can fit in.
Always! If you read My Testimony you’ll see that I have probably been where you are.
Need to pray more for sure.
That’s going to always be the case. I have three main prayers. The Divine Mercy Caplet, the Rosary, and the Anima Christi.
I am also Militia of the Immaculata
Yep, converts and reverts kinda have a mission to make up for lost time and it really rattles a lot of n-Cs when they discover a Catholic who knows the faith and the Word of God at least as well (or better) than they do.
It does indeed because they have been taught that we are not allowed or encouraged to read the Bible and that we do not hear it at Mass. Wrong on both counts.
Why would the church offer an indulgence to encourage us to do something they don’t want us to do? That makes no sense at all…
As you said, they are surprised and even chagrined to encounter a Catholic who has read and knows the Bible and can offer scriptural reasons for why we believe what we believe. Then it really messes them up when we ask them to provide scripture that specifically supports Sola Scriptura and can show from context (or lack thereof in most cases) that It’s NOT in the Bible, okay?
God bless people like Scott Hahn and Marcus Grodi.
Amen to that. Rome Sweet Home is one my favorite reads ever and I really liked Catholic for a Reason, but Dr. Hahn has turned out some invaluable books that really help educate and inform .
Marcus Grodi is excellent as well and I enjoy him on TV and radio.
Also, I think that we Catholics are only now starting to realize the value of tracts in faith sharing, which is something that n-Cs have been big on for a long time and there are a number of excellent Catholic sources like CA and Grotto Press, and Our Sunday Visitor.
One should always and all ways make use of whatever we have found most effective for us individually in sharing our most holy faith with the view to call all people to Christ. Bishop Sheen was absolutely correct when he said…
***“The Catholic faith is like a lion in a cage. You don’t need to defend it - you simply need to open the cage door.” ***
I think in this day and age, rumors and stereotypes get passed around like candy and accepted as truth. So many misconceptions about the church and not enough Catholics to clear them up satisfactorily.
I’ve been to several catholic stores and/or gift shops. Have not seen any tracts, ever. When i do see them ill definitely pick some up. Need to explain Mary and other issues to people and then link them to a good site like CAF or your site.