Roman Catholic 
Diocese of Ogdensburg

Evangelization

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 FOR THE WEEK: Catholic Christian Outreach - Canada.

CCO is Catholic Christian Outreach is a Canadian organization aimed at evangelizing college students.  It is similar to FOCUS in the US.190628 CCO logo

Although the CCO material is really aimed at college students, they have some fantastic resources for basic evangelization, especially material for small group study such as the CCO Faith Studies Series .  This series comes in five parts, but starts with DISCOVERY which is a small group process to present the Kerygma - the basic content of the good news that 1) Jesus loves us and has created us for relationship with him, 2) sin broke the relationship 3) Jesus restores the relationship through his life, death and resurrection, and 4) we are invited to respond by accepting the gift of salvation.  DISCOVERY is divided into six sessions which include scripture, faith sharing and introduce the basic elements of Christian faith and invite participants to make a commitment to Christ. 

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Five other students following on DISCOVERY cover the role of the Holy Spirit in our lived (SOURCE), how to live out our faith (GROWTH), how to truly accept Jesus as LORD in various aspects of life (OBEDIENCE) and the Church's missionary character (COMMISSION).

Other CCO resources include THE MISSIONARY DISCIPLE PODCAST, TRAINING VIDEOS on how to share the kerygma using the CCO Ultimate Relationship Booklet which gives a very basic step by step process, as well as parish resources on how to run a faith study, and strategies for growing missionary disciples.

 

If you are interested in the Faith Studies Series, the Office of Evangelization has a set of leader guides which you are welcome to check out to see if this is a study that might work in your parish.  Contact Marika Donders (mdonders@rcdony.org) for more information.

WORD FOR THE WEEK: THIRTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

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JUNE 30: THIRTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME 

Readings: 1 Kgs 19:16b, 19-21/Gal 5:1, 13-18/Lk 9:51-62

St. Paul tells us today that for freedom Christ set us free. But freedom does not mean to do whatever we want or even what is expected by our culture.  Freedom is freedom to do the right thing.  This is often hard and countercultural.  In today’s gospel, the three would-be-followers of Jesus each have a good reason to delay the call to follow.  The choice to follow Jesus is rarely the easy path.  Yet, we are asked to follow none-the-less.  Pray today to hear God’s call to you so you can answer with the words of the Alleluia verse: Speak Lord, your servant is listening; you have the words of everlasting life. And then, as our mother Mary taught us, do whatever he tells you.

 

 

WORD FOR THE WEEK: THE MOST HOLY BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST (Corpus Christi)

JUNE 23: THE MOST HOLY BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST (Corpus Christi)

Readings: Gn 14:18-20/1 Cor 11:23-26/Lk 9:11b-17

In our gospel of the feeding of the five thousand, there is an allusion to the Eucharist: Jesus looked up to heaven, said the blessing, broke the bread and fish, and gave them to the disciples … Today these are still the action of the priest as he confects the Eucharist. The line that struck me in today’s Gospel is that they all ate and were satisfied. The hungry will be filled.  What are we hungering for?  Do we desire to receive Jesus? The Lord longs to fill us, to fulfill our desire for him.  Let us open our heart today and not be afraid to ask him to come to us and transform our lives.

RESOURCE FOR THE WEEK: Encountering Jesus in Word, Sacraments and Works of Charity by Peter Vaghi

 encountering jesus
A few years ago I read a book which I think would be a fantastic book for use in small group discussions about encountering Jesus.  The book to which I am referring is Encountering Jesus in Word, Sacraments and Works of Charity by Peter Vaghi.  If you are looking to deepen your faith and your relationship with Jesus, I would highly recommend this book.  As you might expect from the title, the book is broken down into three sections: encountering Jesus in Word, Encountering Jesus in Sacrament and Encountering Jesus in Works of Charity.  I think we often think of encountering Jesus in word and sacrament, but how often do we see him as we are performing works of charity?  Each short chapter chapter tells a reflects on scripture and relies heavily on Pope Benedict XVI's God is Love (Deus Caritas Est).  Each chapter ends with some reflection questions and a prayer.   These questions and prayers make the very useful either for personal reflection (perhaps for use on a retreat) or for group discussion using the questions as starting point for small group discussions.   This is not a new title, but definitely worth a re-read! 
 
 

RESOURCE FOR THE WEEK: Divine Renovation

 

190614 divine renovation

The Resource for this week is a book as well as all the resources that have sprung up around the original book such as workbooks, conferences, podcasts and apps for your phone.  The original book that started it all is Divine Renovation: From Maintenance to a Missional Parish by Fr. James Mallon.  The book traces Fr. Mallon's efforts to transform the parishes he was assigned in Halifax.  Through his stories, and the successes and failures, we can learn to ask questions about the parish culture, and how we can cultivate a culture where parishes become vibrant communities that feed and form disciples in love with Jesus Christ and his Church.  Fr. Mallon is first to tell you that no two parishes are alike, and what worked at St. Benedicts may not work at your parish, but the book does help you to ask questions about what is and isn't working and what might be some steps you can take to help form intentional disciples who will move your parish from maintenance to mission.

Since the book came out in 2014, it has created a whole ecosphere (as successful, inspiring books often do).  There is now a guidebook - a step by stem manual or workbook to help you parish leadership team to create a vision, and assist parishes to implement that vision across the ministries. The guidebook is filled with lots of information, ideas and examples as well as ways to assess what is and isn't working for your parish.

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There is also a divine renovation website with news and blogposts and resources at divinerenovation.net.  Part of this site is membership based, but there is a great deal of free material as well, such as the Divine Renovation podcast and blog.  There is also a Divine Renovation App  both for iOS and Android.  Just search for Divine Renovation in iTunes or the PlayStore.

190614 DRUnlocking

The latest books in the Divine Renovation ecosphere are the Divine Renovation Group Reading Guide(six sessions for leading a small group to unpack the original book), Divine Renovation Apprentice: Learning to Lead a Disciple Making Parish  and most recently Unlocking Your Parish: Making Disciples, Raising up Leaders with Alpha.  I have not yet read these two books, but will post a review once I do.

Lastly, Fr. Mallon was the keynote speaker at the last New Evangelization Summit.  His talk was Evangelization when you are not in a leadership position: 10 things to impact the shift.   I will post my notes about that in a future blog post.