Roman Catholic 
Diocese of Ogdensburg


The Office of the New Evangelization offers a series of workshops to help parishes and groups to form intentional disciples.  The goal is to help people encounter Jesus Christ and choose to follow him, who is the Way, the Truth and the Life so that others can encounter his love through them.    

Below are some workshops that are available.  We can also create workshops on themes to meet your parish or group's particular needs.

Eucharist and The Call to Discipleship

Why do we go to Mass? Yes, we go to Mass to worship him, and to receive him and receive the graces we need.  But then we are sent out into the World. Go, and share the good news. At the end of every Mass we are being sent out to evangelize, to bring Christ into the world.  How else will those who never come to Church encounter Jesus, if they do not encounter Him in us?   This is a two-hour workshop/presentation for anyone in the parish, to encourage them to be transformed by the Mass into Missionary Disciples.      

Hospitality:  More than Coffee and Donuts

A three-hour workshop, suitable for a Saturday morning, for those who lead ministries and apostolates in the parish.  This workshop is for anyone who wants to create a more hospitable and inviting environment where active, occasional and future parishioners can encounter Christ in word and sacrament, in the community of faith, and in each other.


The Gifted Disciple  Part I   

An approximately 90-minute workshop (about an hour talk plus half an hour to take a charism inventory) for those active in ministry to begin to learn what charisms are and to begin to discern their own charisms.      

It is recommended that there be at least a month long break between Parts 1 and 2 for participants to "try on" one of the charisms suggested by the charism inventory.     

The Gifted Disciple Part II 

An approximately 90-minute workshop connecting charisms with our personal vocation and collaboration.


Spirituality of Leadership    

An hour-long presentation and discussion for ministry leaders and staff in your parish. This workshop situates leadership in the context of faith and tradition.  Christian Leadership is a participation in the leadership of Jesus Christ, involving the exercise of influence, using our gifts while cultivating the gifts of others, moving others toward goodness and the Kingdom of God.  Leadership works through the whole spiritual and moral being of the leader and is normally exercised in community.


Evangelization and Apologetics

This workshop is an introduction to the relationship between evangelization and apologetics.  It addresses obstacles and objections to both evangelization and apologetics and how we might overcome these obstacles by offering some practical do’s and don’ts for both disciplines.


The office of Evangelization is able to provide virtual workshops.  All the workshop above can be adapted for virtual delivery.   The following workshops are designed and work very well for online delivery.  

The Office of New Evangelization will host an Online Alpha twice a year, once after Easter and once in the Fall.  Alpha is a series of sessions exploring the Christian faith, typically run over eleven weeks. Each talk looks at a different question around faith and is designed to create conversation.  The intended audience is those who are on the periphery of our faith or not Christian at all, but it is also fruitful for practicing Catholics who have never made a conscious decision to follow Christ

The Search is a 7-episode program that explored the deepest questions of the human heart: Why am I here? What's life all about? What happens when we die? — and guides you through the great big story of everything, as astrophysicists, psychologists, neuroscientists, artists, chemists and professors point to one big (surprising) conclusion: Jesus Christ, and the Catholic Church. What do you seek?  

The Chosen is beautifully multi season Television series based on the life of Christ .   It is based on the true stories of the Gospel with backstories of characters and dialog having been added.  But the biblical and historical content and artistic imagination are designed to support the Truth and to get participants to place themselves in the story and what it might have been like to walk the dusty roads with Jesus and then to go back and re-read and pray the scriptures for themselves.

The 99 is a three-part process of evangelization training.  The 99 Masterclass is aimed at parish leaders to explore various facets of evangelization.  The 99 Experience is for the person in the pew and can be likened to a parish mission. The third part is the 99 Handbook which would be great for small group discussion to go deeper into the content. The idea is that the three parts can be run repeatedly so that some who have participated in the Experience or book discussion would return to do the Masterclass and then help facilitate the Experience for a new cohort.  In addition, the 99 Experience would be a possible follow-up to the Alpha process.


The Office of New Evangelization can facilitate retreats or parish missions. These Discipleship Retreats are geared primarily to small groups such as parish staff, parish evangelization teams, a women's group, etc. Parish Missions focus on personal discipleship leading to evangelization. Of course, retreats and missions can also be created to meet you parish or group's particular needs.


A day long retreat/day of reflection for small groups such as parish staff, a parish women's group, suitable for 12 -15 people.  The retreat is comprised of a morning conference focuses on Discipleship in three stories in the Gospel of Mark (Mk 10: 17-42), a period of private reflection and journaling with guided questions, lunch, sharing our stories after lunch, and concludes with a discipleship based Holy Hour based on the Women at the Well.


Christ Fed, Christ Led, Hope Filled   This could either be a three-day parish mission, with one talk each evening or a one day parish retreat with a three conferences followed by reflection time.


A two or three day parish mission, suitable for Lent or any time through the year.
Suggested talks:

- Evangelization: It's All about Relationship
- Meeting Christ in the Confessional - a short talk before a reconciliation service
- Reaching folks in the Pews and beyond


Marika Donders, the Director of the Office of Evangelization is available to give talks and presentation on a wide variety of topics related to Evangelization.  Some of these talks and presentation are elements of workshops or retreats that can function as stand alone presentations.  Others are specifically created as stand-alone presentations.  As always, if you have a particular theme or need, presentations can be created specifically for your parish or group.  

Lent: Spring Cleaning for the Soul     

Social Media and Technology: A presentation for parents    

My Story of Faith: Transitions in Prayer    

Evangelization and Public Policy: The Church in the Public Square    

Evangelization and the Family: Your Marriage is your project for the World    

Discipleship in Three Stories of Mark    

Evangelization and the Woman at the Well    

Spirituality of Leadership