Apostles on Mission
By Emily Smith, PEM Marketing and Communications Associate
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. The session on young adults, presented by Jonathan Lewis, Director of Young Adult Ministry and Evangelization Initiatives for the Archdiocese of Washington, was especially helpful because as a young adult, they are the people whom I most often find myself in a position to witness to about my faith. As a convert to Catholicism, learning about parish structure, presented by Dr. Susan Timoney, Assistant Secretary of Pastoral Ministry and Social Concerns for the Archdiocese of Washington, was edifying for both my professional and personal efforts.
As we prepare to go out and evangelize in the real world, we went over seven practical tools for evangelization from Father Frank Donio, SAC. His seven tools were:
- Practice Active Listening – wait for the other person to finish, think before responding, and no distractions
- Effective Witnessing – we must deepen our own faith, have confidence in the Gospel and be willing to share it.
- Sincere Invitation – be direct but not heavy-handed, personal, welcoming, and hospitable
- Sustained Prayer and Ongoing Formation – this happens in both a personal – study and private prayer – and a communal – Mass and confession – way.
- Faith-Filled Communication – this applies especially to social media where we should be: active, comfortable, brief, current, and spontaneous.
- Work of the Baptized – evangelization is the work of all the baptized in our roles as priest, prophet, and king.
- Work of the Holy Spirit – the Holy Spirit is the one who works through us as we evangelize.
Next semester we will apply what we’ve learned this semester and apply our knowledge and gifts to our Evangelization Start-Ups. Proposals for our Start-Ups range from starting men’s groups to discussions on the Eucharist. Its going to be very exciting to see where the Holy Spirit takes each of our projects!