Roman Catholic 
Diocese of Ogdensburg


The Office of New Evangelization exists
To support parishes in forming
Joy-Filled, Intentional,
Missionary Disciples of Jesus Christ
So that On Fire with the Holy Spirit
They will be witnesses that
transform the culture around them.

Resource of the Week: The 99 from Ascension Press

There is a new program on the block for evangelization and making disciples in your parish.  It is called The 99 - a new program from Ascension press. 

I have recently purchased the program (videos, leader guide and book) for our office and will be piloting the program at St. Mary of the Fort for Lent.

The program consists of three parts: A Masterclass (6 sessions); The 99 Experience (3 videos with various options for presenting) and then a book to go deeper.

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The idea is that first you use the Masterclass to train leaders for the program.  Each session of the masterclass is broken into three segments, using beautiful video and experts to explain what evangelization is about, common fears we might have in sharing the faith, and what is necessary to develop the desire and conviction to evangelize because Jesus has made a difference in our life. The Masterclass then continues to help us to put the gospel in a simple format that we can easily share and how to develop and share our own witness in word and action and how to invite others to a relationship with Jesus.  Further videos continue how to reach the culture and those on the periphery , how to invite others, the power of small groups and building real community, how to accompany others on the journey and how to deal with suffering finally, how to go on mission with Jesus and the Church.

Leaders who are formed in the masterclass can then lead The 99 Experience - a three session (can be used as a day of reflection or a three evening parish mission in various suggested formats for others in the parish or those whomay have wandered away like the lost sheep.  Part of the Experience is session at the end of part 2 that covers mercy.  This could easily become a lead-in to a parish reconciliation service or adoration with confessions available. 

The last part, the Handbook, goes deeper and created disciples in love with Jesus, who would be then be ready to start a masterclass and start the cycle over again, thus reaching ever wider circles.

Watch the promotional trailer here:

How will it work in reality in our parishes?  Stay tuned.  I will facilitate a masterclass in one of our local parishes and will keep you updated.  If you think your parish would be in a place to start The 99, check with your pastor and let me know.  I would be happy to set up another Masterclass group in one or two other parishes.  Also, I have bulk ordered books for the program, so if you are interested in just the book discussion just to start, check with me and we can share the books at a lower cost.

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Readings: Is 49:3, 5-6/1 Cor 1:1-3/Jn 1:29-34

Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.  John the Baptist points Jesus out with these words. If he was interested in his own following, looking for his own glory, he could have remained quiet, but he pointed Jesus out.  This was his mission.  Some of John's disciples followed the Lord.  These would be some of the first Apostles who would bring others to Christ.  At every Mass we hear the same words: Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.  We too, like the Apostles are first called to follow, but then, to introduce Jesus to all those we meet. 


Happy New Year!  


SEEK is an annual conference by FOCUS  - The Fellowship of Catholic University Students. Every Year, SEEK takes place round the first of the year with great speakers, artists and thousands of students experiencing fellowship on a large scale.   Nothing can replace experiencing such an event in person, in "real life", but of course, not everyone can get away or afford to travel.  This year's conference is in Phoenix and as I type this I am listening to the Day 5 Livestream on YouTube.

This is a wonderful resource for college students, for young adults and also for not-so-young adults.   The videos of keysnotes and talks are available on the FOCUS YouTube channel

One of my favorite speakers for this year's conference is John Leyendecker  on the Moral Authority for Evangelization which I have inserted below, but go check out the other videos from this year and previous years: well-known speakers such as Fr. Schmitz, Dr. Edward Sri, Jason Evert and Sr. Miriam James Heidland, SOLT.


Also, if you think you are interested in the next SEEK CONFERENCE 2021 ... It will be in St. Louis


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Readings: Is 42:1-4, 6-7/Acts 10:34-38/Mt 3:13-17

This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.  At the baptism of Jesus, which is different than our baptism, God the Father revealed Jesus to the world as the one with whom He was well pleased, one who did his will. Jesus is identified with Isaiah's the Suffering Servant who will establish justice on the earth.  At the baptism in the Jordan, the Holy Spirit initiates Christ's mission.  Our baptism is different, but in light of our Baptism, we too are called to reveal Christ's presence in the world, and we are sent to do the will of the Father, to bring justice to the world.  


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Readings: Is. 60:1-6/Ps. 72: 1-2,7-8,10-11,12-13/Eph 3: 2-3A,5-6/ Mt 2:1-12

The word Epiphany means manifestation.  Today we celebrate the feast of God revealing of his glory.  Our gospel tells the story of the Magi, the wise men.  They followed the star to find the new king.  They came bearing gifts of gold (to crown a king), frankincense (to worship God), and myrrh (for healing and also, for anointing a body for burial.  Even at Christmas we have a hint of what is to come).  What gifts do we bring to our Lord? How do we rise up in splendor for our Lord has come? Instead of gold, frankincense and myrrh, can we bring the best of ourselves?  Instead of gold, can we offer our love for our neighbor?  For frankincense, can we offer true worship and lift up our prayers like incense? And instead of myrrh, can we bring comfort to those in need?  Can we see Christ in the other and bring the light of Christ to a dark winter world?