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© 2004, All Rights Reserved. Office for Evangelization Archdiocese of Chicago 155 E. Superior Street Chicago, IL 60611 312.751.5353 www.goingforth.org
Introduction to Catholic Evangelizing Workshop
TRANSFORM SOCIETY BY THE POWER OF THE GOSPEL
There are a number of ways that you can learn more about acting as a way to transform society according to the Gospel. Here are just a few. Make sure to visit www.goingforth.org for more information and resources: Archdiocese of Chicago Amate House Family Ministries Office for Peace and Justice Catholic Relief Services Office for Racial Justice Service Catholic Charities Greater Chicago Food Depository Little Brothers-Friends of the Elderly Port Ministries Family Resources for Parents Family Spirituality Family and Media Political Rights Catholic Conference of Illinois Media Your Family and Cyberspace Pauline Books and Media Reviews Luke Films Catholic Arts and Culture Catholic Information Network Radio Archdiocese on the Radio Ave Maria Catholic Radio Peace and Justice The Busy Christian's Guide to Catholic Social Teaching 20
EVERY CATHOLIC IS AN EVANGELIZER!
That is our call by Baptism. At the end of Matthew's Gospel, as Jesus was leaving earth, He told his disciples and us:
All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always until the end of the age. (Matthew 28:18-20)
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Each of us is called to become a disciple of Jesus through the Church. We become disciples through following and trusting in Jesus, obeying His commandments. We make disciples by sharing and witnessing to our relationship with God. Becoming a disciple and making disciples is a life-long process. Consider what Jesus said:
I give you a new commandment, love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:34-35)
Chicago Anti-Hunger Federation Interfaith House Mercy Hospital - Volunteer Prison Ministry
Handing on the Faith Feasts and Seasons
Our love for God, ourselves and each other gives witness to God and invites others to join our Church as brothers and sisters in Christ.
WHAT THE CHURCH SAYS ABOUT EVANGELIZING
Family Guide for Using Media Renewing the Mind of the Media Movie The Jesus Film
The Second Vatican Council and recent Popes have all affirmed that the Catholic Church's primary mission is to evangelize.
All disciples of Christ are obliged to spread the faith to the best of their ability. (The Decree on the Church,Vatican II, #17) Let everyone be aware that the primary and most important contribution they can make to the spread of the faith is to lead a profound Christian life." (Decree on the Church's Missionary Activity, Vatican II, #36)
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For the Church, evangelizing means bringing the Good News into all strata of humanity, and through its influence, transforming humanity from within and making it new." (Evangelization in the Modern World, Pope Paul VI, 1975)
GO & MAKE DISCIPLES – A NATIONAL PLAN & STRATEGY FOR CATHOLICS EVANGELIZING IN THE UNITED STATES
In 1992, the U.S. Bishops issued a document with three goals:
Goal I: To bring about in all Catholics such an enthusiasm for their faith that, in living their faith in Jesus, they freely share it with others. To invite all people in the United States, whatever their social or cultural background, to hear the message of salvation in Jesus Christ so they may come to join us in the fullness of the Catholic Faith. To foster Gospel values in our society, promoting the dignity of the human person, the importance of the family, and the common good of our society so that our nation may continue to be transformed by the saving power of Jesus Christ.
EVERYDAY EVANGELIZING • Be generous with compliments, especially to those who appear to be down today. • Send a sympathy or get-well card to neighbors or friends assuring them of your prayers. • Share a smile and a personal greeting with a stranger. Try to see Christ in everyone you encounter each day. Ask friends and family to pray for your special intentions. • Share an unanswered prayer with a friend or family member. Remember to give thanks for what you have received. • Tell someone about a good book or tape to help them grow in their faith. • Be an example to family or friends on how to a believer acts and speaks.
SPREADING THE HOLY FIRE
In 2002, the Archdiocese published Spreading the Holy Fire: A Plan for Catholics Evangelizing in the Archdiocese of Chicago. Spreading the Holy Fire mirrors the three goals of Go and Make Disciples that every Catholics is called to carry out: Believe Encourage all Catholics to experience conversion to a deeper holiness and a greater love of God. Welcome and invite others to learn about and share in the Catholic Faith and encounter Jesus Christ in the sacraments. Change society with the power of the Gospel.
• Forgive someone who has wronged you. Ask for forgiveness from someone you have wronged. • Move to the center of the church pews, theater seat, etc. which invites others to join you and provides an opportunity for conversation. • Do not judge others. Do not speak unkindly of others. Always look for the good in others and point this out when they are being hostile. • Serve your parish as a Eucharistic minister, lector, choir member, etc. • Allow your faith to carry over into your work by insisting on fair prices, good products and fair treatment for customers and employees alike. • Share your personal faith story of how God has worked in your life with a friend or family member. • Treat everyone you meet with dignity. No matter what they look like, how they try your patience, or how they speak, they are part of the Body of Christ.
EVERYDAY E V A N G E L I Z I N G • Invite someone who has been away from the Church for a while to attend Mass with you. • Offer to help your neighbor even when it's not convenient.Take time in your life for those who are suffering or in need. Remember, people are more important than tasks. • When you see God working in your life, point it out to others. We are all enriched by the personal witness of others. • Talk to friends about the good experiences you have had with the Church. • Invite friends to social functions of your parish. • Give money or food to a person in need. Remember that when you reach out to the poor, you are reaching out like Christ himself did. • Witness your faith with your own family and friends by gently stating, I believe... • Warmly greet others at Mass whom you do not know. Sometimes members of our community fall away from the Church because they feel alienated from others in the congregation. • Tactfully change the direction of the conversation at home or school when things take an uncharitable or gossipy turn. • Continue to comfort a grieving friend or neighbor well afer a funeral. The process of dealing with a loss takes a long time. Offer to accompany the person who is grieving to social activities or make yourself available just to talk. • Volunteer your time for visiting shut-ins, elderly, prisoners, etc. Share your favorite story in the Bible with them during your visit.
WHAT ARE SOME ASPECTS OF CATHOLIC EVANGELIZATION?
Catholic evangelization is led by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the primary agent of evangelization and moves us toward spiritual transformation as individual disciples and as a Church. The Holy Spirit is at work in the evangelizer and in the heart of the person who is being evangelized. Catholic evangelization is rooted in Jesus Christ and His Church. There is a profound link between Christ, the Church, and evangelization. We cannot claim to love, listen to, and belong to Christ without the Church. Catholic evangelization is directed toward the Kingdom of God. Sharing one's faith is a way to facilitate the fulfillment of God's will "on earth as it is in heaven." The evangelizing Catholic fully accepts this activity as part of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. Catholic evangelization involves sharing in the Eucharist. The ultimate proclamation of God's Word is carried out in the Eucharist, the source and the summit of our salvation. Catholics who evangelize share in the Eucharist to grow in their faith and also invite other Catholics to do so. Catholic evangelization calls people to a lifelong journey to God. Far from being a once-for-all experience, evangelization is believed by Catholics to be a continuous process of conversion. The best of evangelizers allow themselves to be converted and evangelized again and again and in that way grow in holiness. Catholic evangelization invites all church members to be stewards of faith. Clergy, religious, and laity are called to use their time, talent, and treasure to spread the Good News —to become a living sacrifice which is acceptable and pleasing to the Lord. Catholic evangelization directs the mission of all Church endeavors. Every ministry, project, and effort can and should be evangelizing in its vision, scope, and activity. Catholic evangelization offers a clear priority in all times and seasons. In the midst of great confusion about what priorities must be served in order to fulfill the highest good, the duty to evangelize takes precedence. Catholic evangelization is optimistic and realistic. The Catholic vision sees the world as basically good but wounded by sin. Our efforts to transform this world are measured, pragmatic, and consistent and wedded to an appreciation of the time and effort it takes to change the real world. Catholic evangelization is rooted in everyday life. Evangelizing and being evangelized take place in the midst of ordinary human situations where God encounters His people in the mundane and in the ordinary. Evangelizing encounters are woven into the life of every family. The Catholic also finds opportunities in and among the larger network of human associations —with friends and neighbors, within the workplace and in business affairs, in technology and the culture, in the business office and civic association, and through the media as well as the Church. 3
WHAT DOES EVANGELIZING LOOK LIKE: YOUR PERSONAL VISIBLE SIGNS
Profess My Love to God Each Day
"Come Holy Spirt,
with the fire of your love."
O my God, I love you above all things, with my whole heart and soul, because you are all good and worthy of my love. I love my neighbor as myself for love of you. I forgive all who have injured me and ask pardon of all whom I have injured.
Psalm 23 The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want; he makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Ordinary Ways to Share Your Faith with Others (Everyday Evangelizing)
COMMIT How do I plan to evangelize?
BELIEVE What do I do to grow in my relationship with God?
SHARE How do I share my Catholic faith with others?
TRANSFORM How does my life bring about a loving and just society?
We offer these suggestions as a Catholic approach to sharing your faith with family and friends: • Say I will pray for you to a friend who has shared some personal concern or difficulty. • Respond Thank God when someone shares a success story with you. • Make the sign of the cross as you pray before a meal in a restaurant.
I give you a new commandment - love one another as I have loved you. This is how all will know that you are my disciples; if you have love for one another. (John 13:34-35)
• Display a religious article in your room. Wear a cross on a chain or other religious article. You might be surprised how many times this will start a conversation about your faith.
WHAT VISIBLE SIGNS DOES MY LIFE SHOW?
Pray to the Holy Spirit
O Holy Spirit of God, take me as your disciple. Guide me, illuminate me, sanctify me. Bind my hands that they may do no evil, cover my eyes that they may see it no more, and sanctify my heart that evil may not dwell within me. Be my guard and be my guide. Wherever you lead me, I will go; whatever you forbid me, I will renounce; whatever you command me, in your strength, I will do. So lead me to the fullness of your truth. Amen.
Read Scripture Daily
If Jesus asked you
to give your heart to Him today, what would it look like?
Choose a passage from Scripture – perhaps the daily Mass readings or part of a Biblical book you are exploring. Sit quietly and read it slowly. Meditate by asking yourself to explore the following questions:
What is the Scripture saying about the ancient times in which it was written? What is the Scripture saying to the world today? What is the Scripture saying to the Church and my parish? What is the Scripture saying to me in my daily life? Examine My Conscience Daily
Take a few moments every day at a regular time (perhaps on lunch break or before going to bed) and examine your actions for the day by asking yourself the following questions:
How have I deepened my relationship with God today? How have I weakened that relationship by my actions or non-actions? How have I furthered my relationship with my family, my friends, my close associates or my confreres? How have I weakened that relationship by my actions or non-actions? How have I furthered the Kingdom of God through my behavior this day? Have I obscured the Kingdom by my actions? How have I served others? How can I serve them better?
On the heart above, fill in the ways that you commit, share, believe and transform now.
It was not you that chose Me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He may give you. This I command you: love one another. (John 15:16-17)
PERSONAL OBJECTIVE ONE: COMMITMENT
As a Catholic, I
will recommit myself to Jesus Christ as a disciple, by embracing
evangelization as my personal mission.
This part of the Personal Mandate is the first step: we recommit ourselves to our Baptismal vows to love and serve God.
• Accept God's invitation to personal conversion, to know and love Jesus as Lord and Savior. • Pray daily for the grace and power of the Holy Spirit to be more of a disciple of Jesus Christ by growing in faith, hope, and love. • Pray daily for the spread of the Gospel and for all of the disciples of Jesus, especially the Church's official ministers and our Cardinal Archbishop. • Develop a mindset of "being sent" to share the Good News with everyone. • Write a personal mission statement in light of evangelization and discipleship. • Renew your Baptismal Promises on a regular basis (daily if possible) as a sign of your commitment to discipleship and evangelization. • Take a personal inventory on a regular basis (daily) by examining your conscience, your intentions, and your actions. • Create a daily plan to evangelize by being "intentional" in what you say and do. • Witness to the Gospel and to Jesus Christ by living as a faithful, practicing Catholic. • Support the Church by exercising Gospel stewardship of personal time, talent, and treasure.
• I have a sense of personal mission and of "being sent." • I am volunteering for church programs, ministries, and outreach. • My witness of being Catholic is noticed at home, in the parish, and in the neighborhood.
GO FORTH TO LOVE AND SERVE THE LORD AND ONE ANOTHER
Renew Your Baptismal Vows
EXERCISE: PERSONAL MISSION STATEMENT
The first step in evangelizing is making a commitment to evangelize. See yourself as a disciple who believes, shares and transforms. Take a few moments to write your own mission statement:
I am a believer in Jesus Christ because…(How has the Lord become present in my life?)
I reject sin so as to live in the freedom of God's children. I reject the glamour of evil and refuse to be mastered by sin. I reject Satan, father of sin and prince of darkness. I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, His Only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary, was crucified, died and was buried, rose from the dead and is now seated with the Father. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the dead and life everlasting.
Light Your Taper from the Easter Candle Blessing Evangelization Prayer
I show how I follow Jesus through…
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of all people with the fire of Your Love. May all accept Your invitation to know and love Jesus as Lord and Savior Fill this Archdiocese with people who welcome and invite others to share in the Catholic faith. Fill our Cardinal, our bishops and priests, deacons and lay ministers with wisdom and courage to live and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Fill all parish and agency staff with Your power to evangelize those whom they serve. Fill all consecrated men and women and all lay people with the grace to become and make disciples of Jesus through prayer, work, and daily living. May the holy fire of Your love transform our society according to the Gospel. Come Holy Spirit! With the Father and the Son, You are worshiped and glorified forever and ever. Amen.
I share my faith through…
As a servant of Christ, I serve others through…
I commit myself to great discipleship through…
PERSONAL OBJECTIVE TWO : BELIEVE
EXERCISE: ADDING FUEL TO THE HOLY FIRE
As a Catholic, I
will respond to God's grace to grow in personal holiness by
least one personal action
to bring about transformation
deepening my personal relationship with Jesus and His Church.
you can take on a consistent basis
• Actively participate in the Sunday Eucharist on a regular basis. • Try to share in the Eucharist more often than Sunday. • Cultivate a daily practice of personal prayer and conversation with God. • Actively celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation as a part of your spiritual life. • Encourage family members to participate in celebrating the Sacramental Life of the Church, especially the sacraments of the Eucharist and Reconciliation. • Develop a deeper appreciation for the Sacred Scriptures by reading and reflecting upon them on a regular basis, especially the readings of the liturgical day. • Participate in faith-sharing prayer and other spiritual formation events like retreats, parish missions, days of reflection, and the like. • Join in a small faith-sharing group or small Christian community to share prayer, faith, and Scripture. • Study and reflect upon the rich heritage and teachings of the Catholic Church as expressed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church or other such documents and share them with others. • Develop a daily, personal spiritual regimen; e.g., morning and evening prayers, prayer before meals, examination of conscience, Scripture reading, personal devotions, Mass, etc.
Visible Signs Kindling Family Parish Neighborhood Community Workplace Education/School Politics Arts/Entertainment Social Justice Use of the media Other Action
in the following areas:
• I actively and regularly participate in the celebration of the sacramental life of the Church, especially the Holy Eucharist. • I am enthusiastic about being Catholic. • I am alive with an informed faith, a vibrant hope for the coming of God's Reign, and a joyful love of God. I experience/witness to God's presence.
PERSONAL OBJECTIVE FOUR: TRANSFORM
EXERCISE: MY PERSONAL "BELIEVE" INVENTORY
Mark down each statement with A (always); O (often); S (sometimes); R (rarely) or N (never.)
___I actively participate in the Sunday Eucharist on a regular basis. ___I try to share in the Eucharist more often than Sunday. ___I cultivate a daily practice of personal prayer and conversation with God. ___I actively celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation as a part of your spiritual life. ___I encourage family members to participate in celebrating the Sacramental Life of the Church, especially the sacraments of the Eucharist and Reconciliation. ___I develop a deeper appreciation for the Sacred Scriptures by reading and reflecting upon them on a regular basis, especially the readings of the liturgical day. ___I participate in faith-sharing prayer and other spiritual formation events like retreats, parish missions, days of reflection, and the like. ___I join in a small faith-sharing group or small Christian community to share prayer, faith, and Scripture. ___I study and reflect upon the rich heritage and teachings of the Catholic Church as expressed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church or other such documents and share them with others. ___I have a daily, personal spiritual regimen; e.g., morning and evening prayers, prayer before meals, examination of conscience, Scripture reading, personal devotions, Mass, etc. Visible Signs ___I actively and regularly participate in the celebration of the sacramental life of the Church, especially the Holy Eucharist. ___I am enthusiastic about being Catholic. ___I am alive with an informed faith, a vibrant hope for the coming of God's Reign, and a joyful love of God.
As a Catholic,
I will participate in the
transformation of society and culture by
and proclaiming the Gospel of Life.
• Develop a deeper gratitude and practice of sacrificial love in families to mirror the love of Christ and strengthen the domestic church. • Seek out opportunities to witness to Christ through social programs and church-sponsored outreach ministries. • Exercise political rights in accord with Gospel and Catholic values by voting, campaigning, and becoming involved in the political process to shape a political environment based on Gospel values of respect for the dignity of the human person. • Discern and practice the wise use of those contemporary media which affirm human life and Gospel values, including reading materials and viewing programs that are in accord with Catholic values and beliefs. • Develop an appreciation of the arts and their messages in order to hear the signs of the times and discern the Holy Spirit's voice calling for transformation. • Develop and practice a spirituality of work so that all employers and employees are transformed by just labor relationships. • Practice faith by witnessing to the Gospel in all areas of your daily life including family, neighborhood, workplace, politics, the arts, the sciences, media, and other areas. • Work in your neighborhood, parish, and home to foster cultural diversity and racial justice. • Be involved in parish and local service groups in your neighborhood which serve the needs of the neighborhood. • Study and reflect upon the social teachings of the Church.
• I am involved in putting into practice the social teachings of the Church. • I am transformed in my personal life as I am affected by the power of the Gospel. • I have transforming relations at home, work, neighborhood, and parish.
PERSONAL OBJECTIVE THREE: SHARE
EXERCISE: THE POWER OF PERSONAL WITNESS
Each one of us has become a disciple of Jesus because someone shared his or her faith with us. Identify one person who has touched your life with God's presence. Write down the answers to these questions and share the answers with your small group.
Who has touched my life with their example of faith?
As a Catholic,
I will reach out to share the
Good News of Jesus Christ
and especially newcomers, inactive Catholics, the marginalized, and the unchurched.
• Become a sharing person who freely witnesses to the Catholic Faith and recount personal experiences openly with others. • Invite a new parishioner, neighbor, or friend to dinner or a social event to build a friendship based on Christ's love. • Visit a new parishioner or neighbor in his or her home to build community and communion. • Become a minister of care and bring Holy Communion to the homebound and hospitalized. • Practice hospitality in the parish, in the neighborhood, in the workplace by listening, encouraging, affirming, and celebrating others. • Develop a welcoming atmosphere at home by being present for family meals and other family celebrations and special occasions. • Celebrate the diversity and faith of people from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds by sharing stories and entering into conversation and dialogue. • Reach out and welcome Catholics who have become inactive in the practice of their faith by listening to their stories and inviting them, when ready, to return to active participation in the Church. • Know the outreach ministries of the parish and invite fellow parishioners, friends and family members to enroll in outreach sessions. • Witness the Gospel to the unchurched and to those who have never heard of Christ and His Church by word and deed so that they may come to know of God's love for them.
Visible Signs What is his/her relationship to me?
Why did they reach out to me to touch my life?
Whose life can I touch through my faith? How would I do that?
• I invite inactive Catholics to return to the practice of their faith. • I express a joyful spirit of hospitality. • I live out the paradigm shift of the Second Vatican Council by being focused on outreach to all and not just to practicing Catholics.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?