This is a month when our parishes continue to renew their sprints – between First Holy Communion, Confirmation, celebrating baptisms, and other sacraments – and given our electronic age, there’s little chance to slow down. Our opening story talks about how parishes can begin to adopt and use a Facebook presence. Sr. Cerveny offers easy to implement, but key tips.
My little article tries to expand on the flurry of sacraments and asks: what does all this say about the dynamics of conversion and discipleship in our parishes? Unless these sacramental celebrations are woven into something broader and deeper, they become wonderful, but ultimately isolated, events. There’s something for all of our staffs and pastoral councils to chew on.
We have a link to an article on a street outreach effort from the Catholic Sentinel in Portland, OR, something that might stimulate our own creative juices, along with a link to one of our webinars on “Imagination, Scripture, and Discipleship” – which will hopefully inspire new ideas for prayer. Finally, we offer a new free resource, the Pentecost Novena to the Holy Spirit printable prayer card.
Look for our next issue of Evangelization Exchange out for June-July. Summer is almost upon us, a time for many of us to recharge and renew our pastoral reflections.
Sincerely in Christ,
by Sr. Caroline Cerveny
Why Facebook? Some basic stats highlight why this tool can be a fruitful opportunity for everyday evangelization.
1.09 billion people log onto Facebook daily (DAU) – March 2016, which represents a 16% increase year over year. (Source: Facebook as 4/27/16)
Worldwide, over 1 Billion registered Facebook users. (Source: April 2016 Facebook) What this means for you: In case you had any lingering doubts, statistically, Facebook is too big to ignore. Facebook is here for the long haul. How it is used for the sake of the Gospel is up to us.
Age 25 to 34, at 29.7% of users, is the most common age demographic. (Source: Emarketer 2012) In religious terms, Facebook can be considered as a means to contact young adults a prime target demographic for today’s church. You have a chance to engage these key Millennials on Facebook.
Facebook users are 76% female and 66% male. (Source: Brandwatch) The Takeaway: Since this isn’t a large statistical difference, you should be able to effectively reach both genders on Facebook. Both genders present an evangelizing ministerial opportunity.
Average time spent per Facebook visit is 20 minutes. (Source: Infodocket) What this means for you: You have a short time period to make your impression, so use it wisely with relevant, interesting and unique posts to get the most return on your efforts.
Caroline Cerveny is a Sister of Saint Joseph, Third Order of St. Francis from Stevens Point, Wisconsin. She is the Founder and President of Digital Disciple Network, which provides consulting and a team for training ministers to use technology in catechetical and evangelization ministries. She has graduate degrees in spirituality, educational technology, and a D. Min. in parish revitalization.
To read the previous essays in this series, click here.
by Fr. Frank DeSiano, CSP
Most pastors try not to add any more to their parish schedules than necessary in the month of May. May is already more than busy – with Holy Communion, Confirmation, graduation, Mother’s Day, and a few more weddings than usual.
How do we look at this period? How do we interpret all these events in our parishes?
The RCIA, the catechumenal process of conversion, can serve as a principle lens to understand this post-Easter period as a “Season of Grace” – reminding us of the wonderful phrase at the start of John’s Gospel: “From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” (Jn. 1:16) When grace comes, it just keeps coming, multiplying itself again and again.
Just as Easter celebrates the abundant grace given those who are joined to the Church in baptism and the confession of faith, so the time after Easter continues this season of grace. The sacraments received, mostly by our children, parallel the sacraments of initiation given to adults. As each of the Easter sacraments makes real the initiation into discipleship for those experiencing conversion, so each of the sacraments during this Easter time underscores the initiation into discipleship that is happening in the lives of our children and youth.
By Sarah Wolf – From The Catholic Sentinel © 2017 Catholic Sentinel
As he walks along Southeast 82nd Avenue in Portland, Scott Woltze wears a wool tunic marked with the Sacred Heart of Jesus symbol. He and his companions are praying and occasionally chanting. They look obviously religious. And that’s the point.
Their garments are a signal for people, says Woltze, who has been walking this route weekly for the past three years. He, and friends who have walked with him, have had amazing encounters, especially near the Grotto. Woltze says the place has a strong gravitational pull on people on the cusp of conversion. Woltze says he is friendly. He makes eye contact but lets the people he meets initiate conversation.
“It’s really a matter of God putting you in the right place at the right time,” he says.
Woltze says he likes walking through the rougher areas. He has a heart for ex-convicts.
Heading to Dallas next week for NCCL’s annual conference? Stop by and see us at Booth 40 for your chance to find a golden ticket and win a free copy of 20s/30s Ministry: A Guide For Parishes!
And make sure to join our own Fr. Frank DeSiano, CSP for his talk, Contemplation: Bringing Self and Church to the World on Monday, May 22.
A special congratulations to the Paulist Fathers and Fr. Eric Andrews who are being honored with the 2017 Catechetical Award by the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. They will be receiving their award Wednesday during the conference.
Everything you need to know to run a successful Young Adult Ministry
New from Paulist Evangelization Ministries comes 20s/30s Ministry: A Guide For Parishes by Fr. Nicholas Lombardo, OP. This new book is an essential aid for every parish to reach out to young adults.
Directors of Young Adult Ministry in many dioceses have acclaimed this book:
Imagination, Scripture, and Discipleship: Imagination is an essential dimension of the literacy needed to approach Scripture. How does imagination help us grasp God’s Word? How does it lead to deeper prayer life? Explore this theme as a way to enrich your involvement with God’s Word. RCIA directors, catechists, spiritual directors, preachers will all benefit from this webinar.
Back by popular demand!
While it has been discontinued in it’s original form, we have decided to offer the Pentecost Novena to the Holy Spirit prayer card as a free, downloadable resource!