Gifts in the Cultural Shift: Hospitality, Hope, Healing – Terri Baldwin, Diocese of Cleveland

At the NCCL conference in Buffalo, Dr. Tim Hogan presented a keynote, Encountering Who? The Gift of the Cultural Hurricane:  How to build Bridges that Empower Parents and Transform Catholic Families.  A facilitated conversation with evangelization leaders followed asking the question, “What are the gifts in the cultural hurricane and how can we respond?”   The conversation … Read more

The Papal Visit: Extraordinary Gift and Challenge – Tom Quinlan, Diocese of Joliet

What does the momentous visit of Pope Francis to the United States mean for the Church going forward?  How can parishes leverage this powerful pastoral visit into a furtherance of our common missional agenda to evangelize? Having followed his words and actions carefully, and also listening closely to some of the cultural reaction (religious and … Read more

Pope Francis’ Vision is Great in Theory – But In Action, Even Better – Tom Quinlan, Diocese of Joliet

This is a follow-up post to my broad reflection on Pope Francis’ trip to the United States.  The following is an email message I sent to catechetical leaders in our diocese, offering a strategy and a tactic for a narrow slice of parish life.  While the focus is on child and youth formation ministry, I … Read more

Pastoral Care and Evangelization: Leading Gently and Generously in the Pasture of the Lord – Tom Quinlan, Diocese of Joliet

Pope Francis has a way of putting things.   Back in 2013, he called on his priests to be “shepherds living with the smell of sheep.” He said, “A church that limits itself to just carrying out administrative duties, caring for its tiny flock, is a church that in the long run will get sick. The … Read more

Evangelization and Catechesis: Are We Just Dating or Ready for Marriage – Lorraine DeLuca, Diocese of Beaumont (Candidate for NCCL President)

Evangelization has always been important for the Church, based on Jesus’ missionary mandate given to the disciples which is  found in Matthew 28:19-20: “Go, therefore,- and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have … Read more

Evangelization and Catechesis Hand in Hand – Ken Ogorek, Archdiocese of Indianapolis (Candidate for NCCL President)

The New Evangelization encourages us to forego a one-size-fits-all approach to proclaiming the Good News of salvation from sin and death by the suffering, death and Resurrection of Jesus. We are encouraged to consider three separate but related audiences: the unchurched, the alienated (i.e. Catholics who aren’t practicing for one reason or another) and the … Read more

Sharing The Joy of the Gospel – David Spesia, Newman Institute for Lay Formation, Diocese of Joliet

Isn’t the world ready for a little more joy? It has been a year since Pope Francis shared his vision for Christian discipleship in The Joy of the Gospel.  Wouldn’t it be great if this text continued to set the course for conversations about evangelization and catechesis throughout the year? A unique new website entitled “A … Read more

Witnessing and Listening Core: Skills for the New Evangelization – Dr. Margaret Ralph

The Church exists to evangelize. I remember when, in 1975, Paul VI, in OnEvangelization in the Modern World, taught that “the task of evangelizing all people constitutes the essential mission of the Church” (par. 14), I was taken by surprise. I had never thought of myself as an evangelizer. I had thought of myself as a … Read more

Teaching Authentic, Real-Life Faith – Joyce Donahue, Diocese of Joliet

We’ve all seen it. “Susie, will you read the first paragraph on page 45?” Next, the catechist asks questions. One or two students respond. The rest look bored. It’s the standard classroom-model lesson plan provided by most textbook publishers and it continues to be inadequate in communicating the living reality of faith.  Two things are … Read more

Healing and the Gospel – Fr. Frank DeSiano

Nothing characterizes the coming of the Kingdom of God more than healing. Jesus’ ministry builds upon a foundation of bringing healing to the sick, and, through exorcisms, peace to those afflicted in mind. Even John’s Gospel, which gives an entirely different approach to the story of Jesus, has the cure of the man-born-blind as one … Read more

Forming Catechists as Evangelizers – Teresa Burns, St. Robert of Newminster, Ada, MI

This text was originally published on our blog on 09/08/2014. As a parish catechetical leader I am responsible for the formation of catechists. I used to focus primarily on methodology and classroom management because the catechists seemed to have the most questions in these areas.  Now, however, I have a different perspective. One of the … Read more

Reconnecting with Baptism Families For a Special Celebration! – Cathy Cornue, Diocese of Syracuse

The extended family walks into church, with the beautiful baby, all dressed in christening finery. During Mass, the baby is welcomed, anointed, baptized and celebrated with applause – and the family basks in the glow of belonging to this faith community.   However, in too many instances, the newly baptized and their families seem to … Read more

A False Evangelization Dilemma – Fr. Frank Desiano, Paulist Evangelization Ministries

This article was originally published on our blog on 08/26/2014. One of my special treats this summer was being able to read “Jesus of Nazareth” by Gerhard Lohfink. The subtitle ambitiously reads: “What He Wanted; Who He was.” Lohfink confirms a direction which, from the beginning, has haunted our Catholic thinking about evangelization.  “On Evangelization … Read more

Easing into Home Visitation, Step by Little Step – Lorraine DeLuca, Diocese of Beaumont

Have you ever tried home visitations as a way of reaching out to others? In this text originally published in August, 2014, Lorraine DeLuca shares her insights in this experience. In our diocese we have begun training Evangelization Teams in parishes using a combination of The Evangelizing Laity from the USCCB webinar series and The Evangelization Jump Start … Read more

St. Albert’s Namesake

Father Lacombe’s Patron Saint “Father, this place is charming; I choose it for the founding of a new mission which you will call Saint Albert, in honour of your patron saint.” Bishop Alexandre Taché 1 Catholic Online lists no less than ten saints named Albert.  Who, then, was the patron saint to whom Bishop Taché referred? St. Albert the … Read more

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