Recently I gave a talk for the Diocese of Springfield about an evangelizing resource produced in my Archdiocese – Indianapolis – not too long ago. The resource is known as 10 Things We Want You to Know About the Catholic Faith.
We had 50,000 of them printed up earlier this year – the size of a large bookmark, on card stock and in color. Several of our parishes took them to their county fairs this past summer. Parishioners set up a booth and engaged in conversation with passers-by about Jesus, the Church, Jesus’ presence in word and sacrament, and more. In a few of our 39 counties Catholics comprise less than 1% of the population – and that’s on a good day when a family reunion might be taking place.
Some of these passers-by didn’t need basic evangelization or initial proclamation of the Gospel. They’re disciples of our Risen Lord, but not members of the Catholic Church. Others were unchurched. A few were alienated Catholics. A smaller number (less than 1% in a few of our counties) were practicing Catholics. These latter three groups – practicing Catholics, the alienated, and the unchurched – are not only the target audiences of New Evangelization efforts, but are also benefitting from our 10 Things We Want You to Know About the Catholic Faith.
Our results from producing this resource are mainly anecdotal and we don’t plan on conducting a scientific study on its impact. If the stories we’re hearing are any indication, the 10 Things… is serving as an effective conversation-starter, belief-clarifier and pump-primer for those who desire more knowledge of God’s Word in Scripture and the Catholic tradition. Makes me glad my friends, neighbors and relatives have access to the best resource of all: Jesus Christ!