August 2014

August 2014
Evangelization Exchange
A monthly newsletter to keep you informed.


Dear Friend,
Summer flies! In just a few weeks parishes will be enmeshed in all the “September” activities, from welcoming back the summer-vacationers, intensifying the Inquiry phase of the RCIA, enrolling parishioners in faith formation all the way from preschool to groups for seniors. Parishes with schools add yet another piece to that, welcoming back families both new and old.

In this issue of Evangelization exchange, I wanted to delve a bit more into Christian Smith’s book on emerging young adults. There is much for evangelizers and parish leaders to reflect on as he, and his associate authors, try to capture at one moment a group of people quickly passing through young adulthood into their mid-twenties. These formative years, while difficult, still offer important pastoral opportunities for pastoral leaders.

Also, in this issue, we are happy to present a report from Paulist Father Rene Costanza who attended the 2014 National Symposium on Catholic Hispanic Ministry in the United States. It’s no secret that the US Church is receiving heavy impact from our Latino brothers and sisters, both as new immigrants and as emerging generations. It is also no secret that Latinos face crucial decisions in terms of their involvement in the Church. Fr. Costanza lays out these issues and some background discussion that is important for all of us working in North America-even pastoral leaders in areas where there are not many Hispanics. Latinos constitute a huge part of the future story of Catholicism in the United States and Canada.

Another Paulist, seminarian Michael Hennessy, did an outreach in Grand Rapids using beer as a way to think about spirituality. Yes, let’s use more and more of our imaginations as we reach out and involve others.

A new video called, The Santa Fe Experience shares some of the blessings that came to the Archdiocese of Santa Fe as they invited their people to become involved in Living the Eucharist – our Lenten renewal process. Maybe it can bring similar blessings to your parish or diocese as well.

DeSiano 2011Let’s enjoy these final days of Summer.


Frank DeSiano, CSP

Read Part 1

This book continues studies that Christian Smith and his associates have done on Catholic youth. It traces youth, previously studied as teens, into “emerging adulthood”-the ages of 18-23. Of course, it is chuck full of information that everyone dealing with youth and young-adults will want to think about. But it also represents a fairly distinct slice of life when young people are undergoing significant change in their identities.

It’s pretty clear, looking at this seven year slice of life, that a lot of Catholic youth enter a fairly amorphous stage. On the one hand, the good news, is that there is a stabilizing of Catholics maintaining their identity as Catholics. We are not witnessing a total downward spiral. “This overall stability is important because it challenges the dominant “decline narrative” of some studies of Catholic young people, at least when referring to the time period since the early 1970s (p.50).” On the other hand, when it comes to religious practice, Catholic youth show the lowest level of religious participation compared to Protestants.

Some of this reveals the difficulty of actually studying groups by social metrics. Near the end of the book, in fact, Smith, et al., have to resort to their own experience of young Catholics at Notre Dame, some of whom display a very strong, committed, Catholicism worth of the category “Devout.” One has to ask groups to respond to questions that put them into categories depending on their responses. It’s not always an easy fit. The authors even employ, for the central conclusions of the book, a method that allows them to cluster kinds of responses in order to get a more accurate read of the group they are studying.

Continue Reading

By Rev. Rene Costanza, CSP

Last month I had the privilege to attend the 2014 National Symposium on Catholic Hispanic Ministry hosted by Loyola Marymount University. The Symposium, which included four years of planning, research, writing and national consultations culminated in a meeting held from June 23rd to 25th at Mater Dolorosa Retreat Center in Sierra Madre, California.

Thanks to the nudging of a professor/theologian I met during my Hispanic Ministry program at CUA and the support of Prof. Brett Hoover, I responded to the invitation to be part of the gathering of 83 participants including pastoral leaders, representatives of national and regional offices, educators, researchers and professional specialists. We were pleasantly accompanied during those three days of dialogue, consultation and worship by Archbishop Gomez of L.A. and Archbishop Gustavo of San Antonio.

Continue Reading

Holy Brew: Trappists, Monks and the Catholic Tradition of Brewing Beer
From the Grand Rapids Press
If you like good beer and drinking deep of spirituality, chances are you will enjoy an upcoming class Hennessy is teaching at the Catholic Information Center. “Holy Brew: Trappists, Monks and the Catholic Tradition of Brewing Beer” is being offered at the CIC next week. A third night was added after the Tuesday class filled up.
Check back next month for an interview with Paulist seminarian Michael Hennessey
Check out our new video: The Santa Fe Experience! Watch to see the impact Living the Eucharist is having in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. Listen to testimony from Archbishop Michael Sheehan, diocesan staff, group leaders, and participants about how this ministry changes lives through personal encounters with Jesus Christ.
Click the picture below to view the video:
Parish Team
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August Webinar –
Pastoral Planning: Mission and Maintenance

Fr. Frank DeSiano, CSP will take participants through the next twelve months to assist with pastoral planning. He will help organize the routine maintenance tasks of parish life as well as suggest opportunities for outreach.

Join us for this free webinar 
August 21st at 2:00pm EST.
Living the Eucharist Webinar
What Living the Eucharist can do for Your Parish

We’re just like you. We’re teachers, business executives, parents, retirees, students…you name it. But the one thing we all have in common is our dedication to change. And the more volunteers we have, the bigger impact we can all make. Together.

Join us for this free webinar 
September 23rd at 3:00pm EST.
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