Confirmation ceremonies are blending into Graduation ceremonies, and parishes are preparing for their annual “sigh” of relief as the school year ends. Nevertheless, we know parish life continues – and perhaps can have some novel emphases as we move into summer.
This month, I conclude reflections on discipleship with a piece on “service.” The hope is that these reflections will be gathered into a resource to help Catholics claim their proper role as disciples.
We also have an articles highlighting an interesting form of outreach in Portland, OR, a Catholic Beer Club, a Prison Ministry conference in DC, and more!
You are also invited to be part of a Facebook Live broadcast on various forms of outreach parishes can engage in during the warmer months. Information about our “New Movers” program might help us think about such concrete forms of outreach.
Enjoy the warmer months ahead.
Fr. Frank DeSiano, CSP
This year, the essays in the Evangelization Exchange focus on how we can help form Catholics as missionary disciples. This series, entitled “Catholics. Disciples. Missionaries.” will offer concrete examples of forming missionary disciples, as well as an exploration of the theme in terms of Catholic evangelization and faith formation. Read past articles here.
by Fr. Frank DeSiano, CSP
One of the tires in my car was low, so I made sure to fill it to its proper pressure before setting out on the Pennsylvania Turnpike on a spectacular fall day. I had gone few miles on the Turnpike when I felt the car become unstable. “I hope it’s not that same tire,” I muttered to myself, before pulling over. In fact, it was not the same tire but a different one; it could not have been flatter. I pulled the large collection of assorted items from my trunk, found the spare and the jack, and reached for the manual to try to re-learn how to change a tire.
About two minutes later, a car pulled up behind me, and a man got out. “What does this guy want?” I asked myself suspiciously. “Do you need help?” he asked. I explained, with the gear from my trunk strewn over the side of the highway, that I wasn’t sure how to change a tire. He said nothing, went back to his car, opened the trunk, came out with a rather formidable carjack, and proceeded to have my tire changed in about five minutes. “If you drive a lot,” he said, “you should get a jack like this.” “Obviously,” I said to myself. I offered to give him some money. That’s when he surprised me.
“Oh, no. I could not take any money.” But I pointed out how unusually kind he was. “No, I have to thank Allah, my God, for giving me the opportunity to do an act of kindness today. What a great blessing for me!” he said. I could not believe his words. I knew many Christians, and even non-believers, might well stop to help someone (although plenty of others were whizzing by on the Turnpike), but I never heard a Christian thank God simply for the opportunity to help. Helping might be something nice-but a blessing? A privilege?
Spring into summer…such a great time of the year, especially for reaching out to people to get them to know our parish community.
Join us on June 5, at 3:00 PM for a Facebook Live! Make sure to “like” us on Facebook first by clicking here. Fr. Frank DeSiano will give an overview of evangelizing activities and resources which are perfect for Springtime!
By Sarah Wolf, © 2018 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press
HILLSBORO – The arrival of postcards inviting the neighbors of local Protestant churches to Easter service is as seasonal as the arrival of Easter itself.
One such example is Resound Church. The church’s Hillsboro location, which is less than a decade old, is in a business complex where neighbors include a preschool, a gym and health care offices. Despite its unassuming appearance, its parking lot is bustling every Sunday morning. Worshippers and newcomers are greeted by hip young pastors and staff standing in the parking lot. Resound has hundreds of members and continues to grow. With the success of such churches, the question has to be asked: What can Catholics learn about the art of evangelization from our Protestant brothers and sisters in Christ?
A rich history
For Rolando Moreno, director of faith formation for the Archdiocese of Portland, Catholics need to reach into the church’s rich past to uncover that desire that so many Protestants have to enthusiastically share the life-saving message of Jesus Christ.
Use the New Movers Mailing List to connect with new movers in your community. Each month you’ll receive a list of all new movers to your parish’s selected zip codes. Send postcards or letters of welcome to these new members of your community and invite them to get to know your parish.
By Joan Stenet, Prison Ministry Coordinator
On April 24-25, Paulist Prison Ministries attended the Conference for National Discernment on Correctional Ministries, hosted by the Catholic Mobilizing Network. The conference was powerful and informative with representatives from a host of different organizations, including the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Dismas Ministries, the USCCB, Diocese FADICA, the National Association of Catholic Chaplains, The Order of Malta, and more, who spoke about their roles and efforts in prison ministry.
Speakers focused on the changes they would like to see in our broken criminal justice system, especially the death penalty and the education of inmates during imprisonment and after release. While America has 5% of the world’s population, we have 25% of the world’s prison population, of which 45% are African American.
Some organizations provide education and training for the inmates to better themselves, but we also need to work on supporting former inmates with jobs, housing, and programs to help them upon re-entry into society. The organizations represented at the conference hope to come together and work towards positive changes to the criminal justice system that will make a difference in the lives of millions.
By Jonathan Liedl, © 2018 TheCatholicSpirit.com
Weeknight visitors to a Twin Cities craft brewery might stumble upon one of the newest young adult ventures in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
Although they wouldn’t necessarily know it.
There will be no tell-tale signs that an organized Catholic event is taking place – no speaker giving a catechetical talk, no priest fielding questions, no special reserved seating. Just a group of young Catholics casually chatting, laughing and getting to know each other, likely with a pale ale or stout in hand.
Which is exactly how the leaders of the local chapter of the Catholic Beer Club want it.
“Our goal is to provide not ‘just another Catholic event,’ but a casual forum for people to connect with others from all over the archdiocese,” said Isabel Brown, a parishioner of Holy Family in St. Louis Park who coordinates the group with fellow Catholic millennials Tim Cahill and Wesley Sandholm.
Looking for a way to enrich your prayer life? Try praying with the Scriptures using lectio divina. Let God speak to you personally through his Word and fill your heart with joy and peace. Click the image below to watch the video!
By Kristin Grady Gilger, Copyright © 2018 America Press Inc.
When you have children, everyone tells you that your life is going to change. They mean this in both the best and the worst possible ways: There are the predictable losses (lost sleep, lost money, lost time) as well as the wholly unexpected gains of loving a child beyond reason, beyond yourself.
What people do not tell you is that your children are bound to make unexpected and sometimes bewildering choices-and those choices have the power to change you. Children will shake your sense of identity, challenge your beliefs and fundamentally alter who you are.
Anyone who has tried to pass on their religious faith to their children knows this to be true: You can be a good Catholic and raise a passel of atheists. You can be a strident ex-Catholic and raise a priest-like I did.
My son would tell you that I have had a big influence on him. He dives into the world in the same way I do, with the firm intention of changing it. He works out his thoughts by writing them down. He believes in the healing properties of tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches on a rainy day. But when it came to making the biggest choice of his life-to convert to Catholicism and become a Jesuit priest-I was left to wonder what influence I had had on him or whether I had wielded any influence at all.
We’ll be at the annual NCCL Conference in Chicago later this month! Come visit us at Booth 30 and check out all our resources in person. We’ll have information on Diocesan Partnerships, Living the Eucharist, The Journey/El Camino and more. We look forward to meeting you in person!