Keeping the momentum, the E-team joined with parish staff and a number of various committee members to read and study motivational writers such as Matthew Kelly (whose books Rediscover Catholicism and The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic were also given freely to parishioners), Sherry Weddell’s Forming Intentional Disciples, which also included a trip to her workshop sponsored by the Diocese of Pittsburgh, and their very own Bishop David A. Zubik’s 32-page pastoral letter entitled "The Church Evangelizing."
Currently, the team is preparing to invite parishioners to attend a four-hour workshop designed to impart skills necessary for faith-sharing opportunities. With much prayer and hope, the workshop will inspire individuals to spread the Gospel by speaking about their faith journey to a roomful of seekers, as well as to the person next to them, wherever they may be. After the workshop, the plan is to hold “Sharing Your Story” sessions.
So the next time someone asks a new parishioner, like Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington once did, “What took you so long to enter the Church?” or to come back, the E-team hopes to change the answer from “No one ever asked me” to “Until now, no one showed me how I could find such beauty, joy and fulfillment in Jesus though the life of the Catholic Church.”
And, while it’s too soon to count, the E-team knows it’s not about the numbers. It’s all about Jesus Christ and the New Evangelization.
Claire Wallace is a freelance writer and catechist at St. Bernard Parish.