December 2015

December 2015
A monthly newsletter to keep you informed.
Dear Friend,


In addition to the juggling that all of us do in pastoral ministry, Advent presents a very special kind of juggling.
We have our purple vestments and try to call people to a time of preparation and purification for the celebration of Christ’s birth. At the same time, we are buying Christmas trees, sending Christmas cards, and attending endless Christmas parties. On college campuses, ministers have to complete all the Christmas celebrations before the students rush off home. Grade and high schools rehearse children for pageants and Christmas Carols.
Perhaps we can juggle things better if, instead of pretending all the Christmas hoopla isn’t going on, using that hoopla to call people back to the desperate longings of the human heart which Advent wants to celebrate. We can emphasize the ironies, paradoxes, and underlying hungers of a culture that, leaping from one crisis to another, still decks their halls and jingles their bells. In effect, we are never done with the hope at the heart of Advent.
I am beginning an exploration of the Spiritual Works of Mercy and evangelization which we’ll explore over these months. In addition, we have a piece on exciting outreach during the Year of Mercy happening in New Orleans, an introduction to our new program The Journey, and information on upcoming webinars.
As we at Paulist Evangelization Ministries strive to help our people and parishes reach those who are distant from faith and worship, we pray that this season will give us all many opportunities to invite and welcome those who come to us at this time of year.
Frank DeSiano, CSP
The Year of Mercy

As a way to celebrate the linking of evangelization and mercy, the Evangelization Exchange will offer a series of meditations on the spiritual works of mercy, the ones we know far less in the Church than the Corporal Works of Mercy. It seems clearer to us to feed the hungry than to, say, bear wrongs patiently. The year of Mercy provides an opportunity for us to review this part of our Catholic tradition.

The Spiritual Works of Mercy and Evangelization
By Fr. Frank DeSiano, CSP

The “Year of Mercy” begins on December 8, 2015. If mercy bears upon anything, it certainly bears upon evangelization. The whole genesis of “Good News”-the evangelium that we proclaim-revolves around mercy. St. Luke, in the way he portrays the initial ministry of Jesus, shows Jesus quoting Isaiah 61 about being anointed (messiah means “the anointed one”) to bring good news to the poor, to set captives free, and, most pressingly, to “proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.” (Lk. 4:19) The “year acceptable” is, in Isaiah, called “a year of favor”-that is, a jubilee year when debts are forgiven and people released from burdens that are crushing them.
So the “Good News” we preach is one of a liberation that comes from the generous initiative of God-who begins the process of reconciliation by reaching out to us. This quality of reaching out has been underscored by Pope Francis who wants us to be a church that goes forth: “Let us go forth, then, let us go forth to offer everyone the life of Jesus Christ. Here I repeat for the entire Church what I have often said to the priests and laity of Buenos Aires: I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security.” (Joy of the Gospel, #24)

Each of the seven Works will have something particular to contribute to our reflecting on mercy-helping us realize what it means to be a more merciful Church. One of the implication of being a “merciful” Church is, of course, our own attitude. Just as important, however, is how we are perceived as a Church. I have noted the dread, just by way of a little example, that young people have in approaching a parish about a wedding. It’s like they expect the book to be thrown at them-rather than feeling welcomed because they are now linking their love sacramentally with the eternal covenantal love of Jesus.

Get Ready for The Journey!

Two factors have had a huge impact on our Catholic experience in recent years.
One is the astonishing presence of Pope Francis… particularly his efforts to call us to have a personal relationship with Jesus-and to discipleship.
The other is the way many believers have drifted away from their practice of faith. Sometimes they go to other churches where they say they are coming to know Jesus “for the first time.” Often they do not involve themselves in any church experience.
That’s why we developed a new resource called The Journey. Through sharing, videos, and various forms of prayer, participants will reinforce each other as they explore different dimensions of Jesus and grow in their faith.
The first Part of The Journey is entitled ‘My Encounter with Jesus’ and focuses on participants’ personal relationship with Jesus. Order for Part One will begin shipping in early January. Coming soon will be Part Two: Encountering the Community of Jesus and Part Three: Encountering Jesus’ Way of Life.
This is a new pastoral tool, filled with potential for igniting faith in your parishioners and surrounding community. Order a Preview Pack for your parish today!
Introducing The Journey – a new resource to strengthen and share faith

Join Fr. Frank DeSiano as he introduces an important new resource for the Church today in this free webinar recording.

Pope Francis has defined faith as “a personal encounter with Jesus Christ.” As a result, we have to help Catholics, whatever their involvement in the Church, and others who are seeking faith, experience their faith at this personal, deeper level. The Journey can help pastors, faith formation directors, religious leaders, young adult ministers, and youth ministers bring Catholics and others to a new consciousness of the presence of Christ in their lives.

Mercy in Motion
From the National Catholic Register

Catholics in New Orleans want their famous city singing a new Gospel tune, and they plan on making the upcoming Jubilee of Mercy a time to make Crescent City hearts come alive with the sound of mercy.
With the motto “Try, Show, Live Mercy,” the Archdiocese of New Orleans is throwing itself wholeheartedly into the holy Year of Mercy that begins this Advent. They are planning to spread the message of mercy everywhere, from social media to billboards and bus bench advertisements.
“We want evangelization in the Year of Mercy to be both inward-looking and outward-looking, as we’re not only looking to engage the third of Catholics who are coming [to Mass],” Father David Caron, the archdiocese’s vicar of evangelization, told the Register, “but also the two-thirds who are not coming, and those who are not affiliated – the ‘nones’ – to get them to look at the Catholic Church and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
The archdiocese is looking to make confession easy for commuters, plans to host a “Mercy Through the Arts” series, including a “GospelFest” put together by the Office of Black Catholics, and is providing parishes and schools will more than 44 speakers who can speak on a variety of topics addressing the theme of mercy throughout the holy year.
Upcoming Webinars

New Evangelization with the 
Game-Changing Generation: Part 2
January 7th at 3:00pm ET
The iGeneration, Y-Generation, Millennials, Mosaics – whatever the label, may be the game-changer generation for the Church.  This generation is the largest on our planet. They are more educated than any in the history of our species. Within two years, this generation will be spending more than the Boomers. And because the larger the generation, the greater the influence, Millennials have the potential to be a game-changing generation. How can we support their spiritual quest and mobilize their talents to build God’s Reign? Participants will consider the tremendous promise and opportunities available to anyone who partners with them.
Our host for this webinar will be Dennis Mahaney the Director for Evangelization and Catechesis for the Diocese of Buffalo, NY. If you missed part one, the recording is available to watch below!
Webinar Recordings
New Evangelization with the 
Game-Changing Generation: Part 1
We have all heard the disastrous church attendance reports. And yet, even this breakdown hints at a breakthrough. As the ranks of the young, unchurched grow, there is a new opportunity for us to reimagine our response. In such a time of new evangelization there is more than new “method, expression, and ardor”. There is also renewal in focus, personnel, place, process and practice. Who are these “Millennials”, “Mosaics”, and “iGeneration” folks from whom so many of our churches are feeling so estranged? What does our hope in Christ Jesus offer them? What does it take to step back from failed and frustrating programs, so we can imagine new opportunities? Participants will see how these questions can lead to new and renewing answers. We will consider the new approach in part 1 and turn to more specific game-changing implications in part 2.
Did You Know?
Looking for a webinar you really enjoyed from earlier this year? Is there a webinar you’d like to share but can’t seem to find the link in your email? Well you’re in luck! All our webinars are available in our new Webinar Archive! Take a look around and let us know your favorites or if there are any topics that would interest you for an upcoming webinar!
Meet the new!
We’re excited to announce the debut of our upgraded website for Paulist Evangelization Ministries!! We hope that you will find the new site easier to navigate and full of new resources! There’s now a Webinar Archive and a special page dedicated to Free Resources. The URL for the site is still, but it has a new look!
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