November 2014

November 2014
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A monthly newsletter to keep you informed.

Dear Friend,

By now everyone has figured out how they are going to cook their turkeys, or where they are going to eat their turkey.

It’s probably the time of year when we focus most on families-the travel, the visiting of relatives, the bridging of generations. Of course, we had many reports on the Synod on the Family, Part 1; most of those reports centered around difficult pastoral issues. Pope Francis invited discussion on these topics, and the discussion will continue.

But beyond any issues about gender and sexuality, about divorce and communion, the primary truth of the importance of family in transmitting faith has to ring loudest of all. And a vision of family as a community of disciples, called and sent, being formed by Jesus and empowered by his Spirit, still has a ways to go in our actual Catholic daily life. My prayer is that the Synod will focus most of our concentration on these important dimensions of Catholic life. The more we commit ourselves to explicit discipleship, the easier it will be to get a perspective on all the issues under discussion.

In addition to my reflection on “Inviting Families,” you will also find in this issue a link to the Pew study of faith in Latin America–one more lesson about how we cannot rely on culture to automatically pass on faith. We also have information about the revised edition of Invitation, updates from Apostles on Mission, upcoming webinars, and more!

In Christ,

Fr. Frank DeSiano, CSP

Invitation is back and better than ever!
It’s back! Invitation has been revised and updated!

This book has 26 easy to read chapters and a popular question and answer format. Invitation can be used for a variety of purposes including RCIA, Sacramental Preparation, Small Groups, Faith Formation classes and many others.

Pre-order today to see why Invitation continues to be our most popular resource!!

Becoming an Inviting Church

This series presents directions to stimulate the thinking of pastoral leaders, DeSiano 2011helping them focus on the important ministry of inviting. Parishes may, to a greater or lesser extent, greet and welcome. But few parishes consciously invite-and this at a time when participation in church is falling across all the religious spectrum. Believers may not be able to do much to influence the mega-world of trends and public opinion, fads and news cycles, but they can do a lot to influence the micro-world of people through direct contact with them.

Part 2 – Inviting Families

All the studies of demographics show that younger generations tend to be less invested in parish-or in organized religion-than older generations. Unfortunately, this includes one of the most important constituencies of any parish-families. These people, whether younger Gen X-ers, or older Millennials, have grown up with very different relationships to all organizations (and not just church).

Yet parishes must bring more of this generation into relationship with the parish. These parents are transmitting attitudes about faith to their children-even as they are reflecting attitudes of their Baby Boomer parents. No matter how many children make First Holy Communion, or First Confession, if these families do not evolve a consistent involvement in parish life-in patterns of discipleship-then what they pass on to their children will be watered down even more.

Continue Reading

“Oh, how I would like a poor Church, and for the poor.”

– Pope Francis

Vatican public restrooms to include showers for the homeless

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The archbishop who distributes charity on behalf of Pope Francis has announced that the public restrooms in St. Peter’s Square will include showers where the homeless can wash.

The service will require volunteers and donations of soap, towels and clean underwear, Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, the papal almoner, told Catholic News Service Nov. 13. “We have to be evangelical, but intelligent, too.”

Apostles on Mission
By Emily Smith, PEM Marketing and Communications AssociateRead Part 1 / Read Part 2

Our final session of the first semester of Apostles on Mission was this past Monday. During this last session we reflected on what we’ve learned this semester. It’s been great to be a part of this pilot program and learn more about evangelization from many points of view and knowledgeable presenters.

Personally, I found the most interesting sessions to be the ones that covered evangelizing to young adults and parish structures…

Continue Reading

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December Webinar

Thursday December 4th at 2:00pm EST
Presented by: John and Therese Boucher

The Holidays are a special time for evangelization. Often at our parishes we see many new faces coming to worship with us. How can we reach out to them and invite them to a deeper connection?

In this webinar we’ll look at different ways you can reach out both in your parish and in your immediate circle of friends and family. From ministering at Christmas Masses to reaching out to a friend who may be alone for the Holidays, join us to discuss ways to reach out and invite during this wonderful season.

Recent Webinars
“When Your Adult Loved Ones Don’t Go to Mass: 
Hope for Inactive Catholics”
Presented by Dr. Kristina DeNeve
Explore with us the issue of adults who identify themselves as Catholic but who don’t attend Mass regularly. What our faith teaches about this issue and what you can do about it are likely to surprise you!

Listen Here

The Joy of the Gospel Parts 1 & 2
Presented by Fr. Frank DeSiano, CSP

Everyone is talking about it – Pope Francis’ church-shaking encyclical on the New Evangelization. Join us for a reflective reading and discussion on the major themes of the Pope’s Encyclical.

The Pope has so many important directions for all of us-laity and clergy-in terms of living and sharing the Good News. Even if you’ve already read The Joy of the Gospel, join in on the reflections and discussion.

7 key takeaways about religion in Latin America

From Pew Research:

A new Pew Research Center survey of 18 Latin American countries and the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico asked people from Mexico to Argentina about their religious affiliation, beliefs and practices. The survey also explored Latin Americans’ views on a wide variety of topics, including support for same-sex marriage and legal abortion, the morality of divorce and how best to aid the poor.

Here are a few of the key findings:

  1. Latin America remains overwhelmingly Catholic, but Catholics have declined substantially as a share of the region’s overall population.
  2. Losses for Catholics have meant gains for Protestant churches and the category of people who do not identify with any religion
Welcome Visitors with Pew Cards
“Welcome” From Our Sunday Visitor

With its simple, accessible message, this pamphlet reaches people with the message that your parish welcomes and invites everyone to come, to worship, and to be a part of the life of the Church — even if they have been away. Includes encouragement from Pope Francis, what to expect their first time back, how to deal with their feelings about Church, and ideas for what to do after their visit.

Order Here

All-Occasion Pew Cards

Use the All-Occasion Pew Cards to connect with the many guests and visitors you have all year round. The Pew Card will help you welcome newcomers and give them an opportunity to let you know if there is any way you can be of service to them. Each box contains 250 cards, which you customize and print for distribution.

Order Here

Encountering the Living God

0315 Our friends at The Boston Pilot have a wonderful write-up about our newest book, Encountering the Living God – A Journal of Prayer and Discovery by David Thorp:

“David Thorp, who passed away in 2011 after three decades of service to Catholics in Boston, left written reflections that have been compiled into a new book. Friends and family say the book, ‘Encountering the Living God: A Journal of Prayer and Discovery,’ continues his legacy of encouraging others to draw closer to their Creator.

Over the years, David Thorp served as the director of the Catholics Come Home campaign, director of the Office for Evangelization and the liaison to the Charismatic Renewal community. For a little less than a year, he was the Director of Faith Formation at Holy Family Parish in Concord; the church has hosted several memorial lectures since David Thorp’s death. He also wrote for several publications, including The Pilot.”

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