Summer 2016

Summer 2016
Greetings!
 
We are toasting away in Washington! But already summer is half-over and fall will be upon us before we know it.

We have a variety of items that we hope interest you. The Year of Mercy continues until November, so we have another reflection on a Spiritual Work of Mercy. Feel free to use it in bulletins, websites, etc., if it is helpful.
We also want to include you in our farewell of gratitude to Denny Marcotte who began serving in our ministry 36 years ago…and now will be able to retire. It’s people like him who make up the Kingdom of God.
In addition, we have a survey we’d ask you to fill out on Living the Eucharist, some information on a program that is generating a lot of excitement – The Journey/El Camino – a presentation from the Notre Dame Institute on Liturgy and the New Evangelization with Dr. Christian Smith, a report on the Festival of Evangelization from the Diocese of Cleveland, a short but sobering article on transitioning from the RCIA to parish life, and – last but not leas t- a link to Eric Groth’s webinar on using media for evangelization.
Meanwhile, don’t forget to enjoy the lemonade out on the patio while you can…
Blessings,
Fr. Frank

The Sixth Spiritual Work of Mercy:

To Comfort the Afflicted

By Fr. Frank DeSiano, CSP

We use the word “comfort” to often refer to things that are rather accessory in our lives. We talk, for instance, of “comfort food,”‘ referring to the extra fat-and-calorie concoctions that often hearken back to our childhood. Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and meat loaf. These items make us smile because we see them as things we revert to when we are feeling somewhat sorry for ourselves. So the boss yelled at work, or the teenagers won’t stop the games they play with their parents, or we were stuck in traffic longer than we wanted. A little bit of consolation – yes, I’ll have the extra piece of apple pie, with cheese, thank you!
We also think of comfort when referring to extra luxurious things. Can someone buy a mattress today and not get the “extra plush” for “extra comfort”? Oh, yes, I’ll have a comforter to go with my comfortable mattress. Or we love a certain hotel chain because it spoils us in little ways: nice terry cotton robes to snuggle up into after we’ve come back from the sauna. Some with an extra sweet tooth might even sip a little Southern Comfort now and then. Why should we be uncomfortable when a little shift in the thermostat or a few extra calories can make us feel so comfy?

Perhaps more rarely in life we get well beyond our comfort zones to something very different – areas that are not accessories to our lives but levels that cut down to the bone. These are times when we feel desperate – without hope, literally, and are looking for simple reassurance. This almost always happens when serious illness comes into our lives. Beyond the physical discomfort (or even pain), there’s a personal distance that surrounds the illness. We are cut off from people that we love, people that we need, or even people in general. And we’ll do anything to have someone touch us, hold our hands, place a reassuring hand on our shoulders, or lift us from the depths into which we’ve sunk.

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Happy Retirement!

After 36 years with Paulist Evangelization Ministries, our Director of Operations Denny Marcotte is retiring at the end of this week. We’d like to thank him for his years of service and dedication to PEM. He has helped guide PEM through many transitions and his ‘punny’ sense of humor always fills the office with laughter. 
 
Denny worked for 10 years alongside our founder Fr. Alvin Illig, CSP. Over the course of his years here he has served PEM in various positions, including leading our Prison Ministry – which he especially enjoys. Of working with the Prison Ministry he says, “Many of the prisoners write and share with us that they have been rejected by society, family and friends. They appreciate so much the contact that they have with us because so many feel abandoned and lonely. They are truly God’s forsaken people.” Denny’s favorite pastimes – when not in the office – are traveling and going to the theatre.
We wish him the best of luck and great peace in his retirement! Thank you Denny!
We have a new look!

Over the next month you’ll start seeing our new logo pop up! The logo is based on the new Paulist Father’s logo, which uses the Paulist “P” as a speech bubble with the Holy Spirit represented as a dove. For our new logo we incorporate this “P” and added the flame for the Holy Spirit in keeping with our current logo.

Take the 2016 Living the Eucharist Ministry Survey

One of our most widely-used programs is Living the Eucharist, our parish-based Lenten renewal ministry, which helps Catholics understand the Eucharist, participate more actively in Mass, and live as missionary disciples of Jesus Christ.
We’d like to know what your experience of Living the Eucharist has been — even if you don’t currently know much about it. Your participation in the 2016 Living the Eucharist Ministry Survey will help us continue to develop effective ways for Catholics to grow in their faith and participate in the evangelizing mission of the Church.
Have you started The Journey?
Now is the perfect time to bring The Journey to your parish!
The Journey/El Camino is our newest resource! It is designed to help Catholics today deepen their personal relationship with Christ – it’s a simple and direct way to encounter Jesus in our lives.
The Journey is perfect for faith-sharing groups and there are many ways it can help your parish today!
In Part 1* each session focuses on the link between our lives and Jesus’ life. Participants read from a selected Scripture passage and then watch a powerful video produced by the award winning Outside da’ Box. In the videos we see how the issues that were affecting those who Jesus healed and ministered to, are not so different from the ones we face today.
Mix and match the components of The Journey to best fit your parish’s needs:

  • Faith-sharing small group materials for adults in English and Spanish
  • Small group materials for youth in English
  • Daily Devotional for participants and parish-wide use
  • Weekly Bulletin inserts to unite the whole parish
  • Prayer Cards
Click Here to order your Parish Preview Pack or
call 1.800.435.7116 to place your order over the phone!
Parts 2 and 3 coming Fall 2016
Liturgy and the New Evangelization Symposium

From Fr. Frank DeSiano, CSP

Christian Smith & Justin Bartkus -
Over 150 participants gathered at the Notre Dame Institute for Liturgy and the New Evangelization, hosted by Dr. Tim O’Malley (author of Liturgy and the New Evangelization – Ave Maria Press). Being on the wonderful Notre Dame campus was inspiring itself, especially seeing the numerous programs they provide for youth from around the country, and other professional gatherings. Their “South Hall” dining facility was jammed with many folks of all ages for both lunch and dinner.
 
Participants experienced various workshops; we present a link to the opening talk by Christian Smith – sociologist of religion – and his associate. It typifies the kinds of concerns touched upon – the importance of parental involvement in the transmission of faith, celebrating in a clearer way so people can experience conversion, appreciating dynamics of conversion in ordinary Catholic life, among some of the topics. Afternoons gave participants an opportunity to break into various interest groups – youth and young adults, musicians, diocesan leaders, etc. Afternoon Mass each day at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart topped off great experiences for all those who came.
Festival Evangelization

From our friends at the Diocese of Cleveland

It’s summertime and from the inner city, to the suburban parishes and all the way into the countryside, it’s FESTIVAL TIME! This includes community square events, parish carnivals, county fairs and more… You don’t want to miss this opportunity to evangelize with those in the community; to build trusting relationships, answer questions of the curious about faith in Jesus Christ and deepen the faith of those who stop by. To aid in building relationships, here are some effective practices shared by some parish communities around the Diocese of Cleveland.
Why I Left My Parish: A Cautionary Tale
From ChurchPop
When I decided to get serious about becoming a Catholic I phoned up the Catholic church closest to my house.
I made the cardinal mistake of thinking they were all the same. After all, at that point in my faith journey I’d already been intellectually converted to the truth of the Catholic faith without ever having actually been to a Mass (at least, not since understanding what was actually taking place).
Webinar Recording
Evangelizing with Digital Media
From May 19th
Presented by Eric Groth, President and Executive Producer at Outside ‘da Box
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.