Open-Air Preaching


For years now I have seen hundreds of different open-air preachers and many door-knocking evangelists. However, I’ve never seen one who is Catholic. Is there a reason?

Do Catholics not go door-to-door or open-air preach?

If now, how is evangelism done? The process of preaching the gospel in the great commission?

Here’s a pretty cool video of Catholic street evangelism:

It’s public Eucharistic Adoration.

To answer your questions: I’m pretty sure the Catholic Church does not approve door to door evangelism. There is one group that does it… the Legion of Mary… , but they only try to get lapsed Catholics to start practicing again… if someone isn’t Catholic they’ll give them a flier if they’re interested, maybe a quick word and move on.

As for street preaching, that is something you don’t see Catholics do very often. But, many of the saints were famous for street preaching. And it used to be very very common for priests/ monks in the middle ages to street preach. Clearly the practice has all but died out…
but Catholics are fully free to do this if they felt so called.

You have seen Catholic preaching everyday and dismissed it.
How many hospitals and schools and churches have you passed by on your daily trips? How many of them are or were Catholic?
How many people just do being a good person well?
That’s one of their trade secrets. Just living as an example to others in how they do the whole thing we call life.
It does not hurt that when it comes to a person like myself who wants to know how things started, I am not going to be seeking any other christian church out other than the one christian church that came before all the ones you can find today and will last long after you and I are gone.

Ever been to Sudan? Nigeria? China? Vietnam? Haiti?.. etc…etc…Catholics are the largest, most prolific and the most constant “open-air”,…“street corner”…“door-to-door”…preachers in the World…we do it through the Real Presence of Our Lord Jesus in the Holy Eucharist…and all the other Sacraments…especially the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass…we bring Calvary and the Empty tomb to the all of God’s people…24/7/365…and most especially through its Charity and Social Justice programs…The Catholic Church is the largest charity organization in the World…

And we got a guy called the Pope…he and his predecessors and successors show up in outdoor arenas often…usually several hundred thousand in those events…with Internationale TV, radio and internet coverage…raises the numbers into the billions who hear the Good News of Our Lord Jesus Christ preached in an incomparable way…and when they hold the tri-annual World Youth Day conferences…its in the usually close to a million in attendance and off the page numbers in the media… and nearly every nation on the face of the planet has people in attendance. and sometimes the Pope evangelizes so good (all in the graces and power of the Holy Spirit)…the people through out atheistic governments…ever hear about Poland?

Then we got this outfit called EWTN…radios stations and newspapers and magazines/journals and book and movie publishing companies.

But I know what you mean…Other than this “stuff” listed above,the Catholic Church is like “Sleepy Hollow”…pretty laid back.

Pax Christi

St. Francis of Assisi is credited with saying “Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words.”

I prefer to live by example. If people want to hear more about what I have to say, I’m willing to talk, but my actions are the first thing to let them know who I am and Who guides my life. I let them see the fruit of my works, and go from there if need be. A gracious deed or a smile can plant a seed just as much as knocking on a door or yelling into a megaphone.

Ignorance Is Not Bliss

'cause the Internet is always right.

St. Francis never expected any of his brothers to preach if they didn’t have the gift for it. Many of them lived by their deeds, living witness to the glory of God. (In the Inquiry phase of the OFS, here…all I’ve done is read and learn about the man for a year.)

If you want to take a megaphone and shout at cars until you’re hoarse 8 hours later, be my guest. Not my “gift.”

Here is the Pope at an open-air Mass in Beirut, Lebanon.

Read up on Fr. Patrick Peyton and the Rosary Crusade. These are just two examples, but there are many others.

A “Way of the Cross” procession and a Eucharistic Procession are examples of Catholic street processions.
“Cardinal Dolan joins Way of the Cross procession across Brooklyn Bridge”
“Catholic Prayer: Eucharistic Procession on the Feast of Corpus Christi”

The annual Walk for Life in Washington and many parishes have times where members line main streets of a city protesting abortion. Also our parish has food drives each month for food pantries and a drive for school supplies each autumn to donate to the poor of our city.

Catholics are not fundamentalists.

There could be a number of reasons for this…
I believe that the main reason for it is that the Church, for so many centuries, was either the “Faith of the realm” and as such everyone was Catholic, or it was NOT the faith of the realm and as such - it was dangerous to be Catholic in that Realm…Such an environment is not conducive to such evangelization efforts.
This of course has changed in most places, but the mentality - of being an “established church” and families raising their children up in the faith etc. is a strong one.
So there is this sort of mentality, especially among cradle Catholics, that says, “That’s just not what we do”…
At least that is my thought…

Do Catholics not go door-to-door or open-air preach?

If now, how is evangelism done? The process of preaching the gospel in the great commission?

Others have addressed this quite nicely so far.

I do think that, as time goes on, the Church will develop more evangelism programs, but I also think that she will wish to avoid those things that most people find “annoying” and off putting…One of which is door to door evangelism.


Pretty sure? For what it’s worth, I’m pretty sure it’s an issue we won’t find an official church stance, either for or against. But, pretty sure holds no real credibility.

Awesome. I’d call those quite different than the open-air preaching that the OP talks about, though.

And actions like the ones you list are the reason I think that Catholics will never have need to knock on doors or shout into megaphones. We’re out there doing what needs to be done, and that draws just as many converts, if not more, as shouts of fire and brimstone.

I never looked for an official Church stance. Why don’t you and tell us what it is?

What I did do was give all the knowledge I knew… which was that the Legion of Mary is the only group I know that does it. If you want to know more you can research what the Legion of Mary is. If I don’t know something for sure, it’s usually a good opportunity to tell people that I’m only pretty sure about it…

Have a good day. :tiphat:

Thanks…that’s certainly better than being “pretty sure”!

What is really cool is that these walks for life and “Life Chains” are not just made up of Catholics but there are often Protestants involved as well. To me this is “ecumentalism” at its best!:thumbsup:

I thoroughly enjoyed Frank Sheed’s writings who was a prominent Catholic street preacher.

For what it’s worth my father in law is a Protestant open air preacher from the Way of The Master / Ray Comfort flavor. Loves to street preach, hates Catholics.

God bless

My youth group does events like this regularly.

Other Catholics I have heard/ heard of do this
Are Jesse Romero, the catholic evidence guild, catholic debate society(?), most Catholics I have net from Africa especially Sudan and Uganda don’t have roofed churches and most Catholics preach in the streets, some catholic I know do this in countries where illegal to do this, some priests without dioceses preach in the streets, many catholic missionaries to united states preach in streets, some lay brothers, some consecrated virgins, and some lay and ordained catholic just do it for heck of it.

I sure probably more than this do it but this is all I know of.

God bless

This is one of the reasons i Like Catholics the most out of all the different Christians, you guys don’t normaly do this stuff. Not only is it annoying, i find it rather disrespectful and impersonal.

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