May 2016

May 2016
Greetings!

It seems like the whole pastoral year has come and gone already, and our parishes are getting into vacation mode.

However before everyone runs off, let me share an idea that Fr. Ralph Sommer – who directs a very large parish in Long Island – passed along to me. This is an excellent time to think about reviewing the past year in our parishes and ministries – to see what we accomplished (with God’s grace, of course) and what we might adjust for the upcoming year.

So here are some questions for staffs to use in an informal self-evaluation:

  1. Did we accomplish any particular goals that we set out for ourselves?
  2. Do we think our parishioners grew as disciples?  What might we point to?
  3. What, in our different ministries, seemed to work best?
  4. How did we communicate as a staff, and how can we communicate better?
  5. What progress did we make in reaching the families in our parishes?  The Young Adults in our parishes?  The Youth in our parishes?
  6. What was strong in our liturgical celebration, and what needs to be strengthened?
  7. How did our activity to reach inactive parishioners and potential seekers work out?
  8. What key goals should we establish for next year?

It may take more than one meeting to accomplish this kind of review, but such an evaluation will be an enormous asset for our leadership in the parish.

Enjoy in this edition of our newsletter the next essay in our series on the Spiritual Works of Mercy and information on resources for your parish. Make sure to check out our webinar happening tomorrow with Eric Groth of Outside da’ Box.

Meanwhile, I hope you have time for the beach, or the mountains, and that God’s Spirit will grant you refreshing rest and renewed energy over these summer months.

In Christ’s peace,
Fr. Frank DeSiano, CSP

The Fifth Spiritual Work of Mercy:

To Forgive Offences Willingly

By Fr. Frank DeSiano, CSP

It’s hard enough just to forgive; how do we forgive willingly?
The emotional blocks created by being offended can seem immovable. We deal not only with an action done against us, but with the layers of hurt that the offending action brought about inside of us. And how do we get to the bottom of those layers? How do we begin to unravel piles of bad feelings that sit inside of us, more pressured than strata of rocks studied by geologists?
This layered core, deep inside ourselves, seems impenetrable. Much of it goes back to our families, our initial experience of “home” and “belonging” which constitutes a huge part of our identity. “Insult me, but do not even think about insulting my mother!” This shows how our relationships are wired into us, so that to attack those relationships is to attack the bedrock of our emotional life. “Blood is thicker than water” – this phrase also gets to the emotional core that we walk around with.

On top of that are all the things we have done to build up our sense of esteem: the stronger among us have excelled in sports or physical feats; the nerdier among us have spent extra time in libraries or in the science labs. But we’ve all found what we thought were our strong points; and we’ve all reinforced those strong points by doing things that have earned the attention, and even the rewards, of others. So to be offended by another’s attacks those reinforcements we have used to buttress our sense of self before others.
 

Continue Reading

Webinar Tomorrow
Evangelizing with Digital Media
May 19th at 3:00pm ET
 
In his final Apostolic Letter, St. John Paul II declared, “Everything possible must be done so that the Gospel might permeate society, stimulating people to listen to and embrace its message.” This webinar will explore the absolute necessity of using digital media in Catholic parish and school environments – with an emphasis on ministry with teens. 
 
Bio: Eric Groth is president and executive producer of Outside da Box. He has a BA in Christian education and an MA in counseling. Eric has served as a director of high school campus ministries and coordinator of evangelization programs for Cultivation Ministries. OdB, founded in 2005, is an award-winning not-for-profit Catholic video production ministry that helps foster an encounter with Jesus Christ through the production and distribution of artfully made, spiritually rich films. Over the past eleven years, OdB has produced 150 short films, including the 48-film Video Catechism series for teens. The ministry released its first feature film, Full of Grace, in January 2016 and is currently producing one on the Apostle Paul. Eric has been married to his wife Becky for 25 years. The two of them have spent the last twenty years raising their eight children.

Register Here

Webinar Recording
Organizing for Evangelization: A Diocesan Perspective
From April 5th
Presented by Terrie Baldwin, Director of the Diocese of Cleveland Office of Evangelization
Find out what it’s like to move evangelization forward in a group of parishes! Join Terrie Baldwin, director of Evangelization in the Diocese of Cleveland, and find out how a diocese prioritizes, trains, supports, and implements themes of evangelization. This will help us all with the Big Picture of evangelization ministry.
Resources for Invitation
Spend the summer inviting your community to get to know you, and the Catholic faith, better! Check out the first two resources highlighted in our email series on Resources for Invitation!
SC Inquirer's Booklet
Seeking Christ aims to solve the problem parishes face when people inquire about the Catholic Church, but the parish is not ready to receive them into the formal Inquiry process.
Click Here to Order a Parish Preview Pack
Awakening Faith is a small group process that helps inactive Catholics return to the Church. The groups meet for six weeks of conversation based on short, easy to read essays.
Click Here to Order a Parish Preview Pack!
Parish Testimonial

From Tina at St William Parish in the Diocese of Youngstown

Awakening Faith, AF

I want to share with you our success in the Awakening Faith program. Every week has enlightened our minds and strengthened our faith…those who have attended the gatherings have come searching for God and a way to indeed “Awaken their Faith.”
I want you to know how much we appreciate the format of the program and the thought behind the material and questions.  It has been very fruitful here. Before we began last week’s gathering, “Is Faith Possible Today?” we asked participants to jot down an answer to this question, “What am I searching for?”
I want to share some of those responses with you:
  • Answers to questions I have about the Catholic faith and God in general.
  • I search every day for what God wants me to do, how does God want to use me today?
  • Meaning and purpose for my being.
  • Inner peace – not turmoil.
  • I am searching for a closer relationship with God. I don’t feel the closeness that I felt as a very young person.
I hope that it lifts your heart to know that your hard work and dedication to serving God has brought others closer to him!
Lifelong Faith

From Lifelong Faith
Since 2007, we have published articles on all aspects of lifelong faith formation in the Journal. We are now organizing articles into Collections to make it easy for you to use. Our first Collection is on Children’s Faith Formation. Download the issue. Every several weeks we will produce a new Collection for you.
Join us at NCCL!

Attending the NCCL Conference in Jacksonville next week? Come say ‘hi’ at booth 103! We will also be hosting the Thursday morning prayer service at 9:30 with a keynote from Bishop Michael Byrnes.
#MercyMoments

As part of Pope Francis’ Jubilee Year of Mercy, we would like to share your stories of mercy – both given and received. Share with us your story at the link below, or share them on Facebook or Twitter – make sure to use the hashtag #MercyMoments.
Through sharing our own stories of mercy, we hope to begin a conversation about mercy in our lives and inspire others to show mercy.
Office Relocating

Please note that the Paulist Evangelization Ministries office will be relocating from May 20th-May 31st to our new office. Calls received during this period will be sent to our voicemail. Other general inquiries can be sent to: online@pemdc.org. Please note that this email will be checked with less frequency during the move. We appreciate your patience and understanding during this time.