Posts in Evangelization
“The Catholic Question” from Darren Wilson's "Adventures with God"

Guest post: Fr. Anthony Co. I often think about how I don’t know what I don’t know. And this concerns me. So I pray: “Jesus, I know you are filled with surprises…surprise me with more of you.” Recently, I had the opportunity to spend a little time with Darren Wilson, a man who urgently prays the same thing.

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Back to Basics

Imagine that tomorrow you wake up and all of our church buildings are gone. And not only the churches, but all of the parish offices, Catholic schools, and so on, along with everything inside of them. Every physical resource vanished, and every person who works for the Church left with nothing beyond what the average American possesses. If you were tasked with advancing the evangelizing mission of the Church in your region and this was your starting point, how would you go about it?

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The Fruits of the Kerygma

When we talk about the kerygma, I think that there are three aspects of it that we need to understand. In the first place, there is the message that makes up the content of the kerygmatic proclamation. Second, this proclamation is intended to produce a particular response on the part of the hearer. Finally, when this message is met with its intended response, we can expect to see certain fruits in that person's life.

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The Parish as School of Evangelization

What is we looked at the parish as a school of evangelization that focuses on training her members to evangelize outside of parish walls? There are two main objections that come to mind in this regard. First, the parish has always been a provider of pastoral care for her members. Would the focus on becoming a school of evangelization mean setting aside the valuable pastoral care our parishes provide? Second, many might object that a great number of parishioners need much more foundational formation themselves before they would be ready to be trained in evangelization. Sure, we need to do some evangelization training, but isn't it unrealistic to think that we could make that the central focus?

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What Is a Parish?

Though the parochial system has been a mainstay of Catholic culture for centuries, it remains but an optional approach to governance in the Church. That is to say, there is nothing doctrinal or dogmatic about the role of a parish, and so it is a legitimate question to ask in any age, "What is the purpose of a parish today?" The way we answer this question today may be different than in times past. 

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