Mind Body Soul
In keeping with the New Evangelization, our objectives are to assist in the proclamation of the gospel (to all people), and to build up the Church (the Body of Christ). Not only are the benefits of evangelizing incalculable, but we also find that the very act of evangelizing increases our own faith as well; and, as an added bonus, there are subsequent rises in the number of vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life.
We have the choice between closing churches and dwindling resources or evangelization and increased stewardship.
Let's fill churches, then build some more!
Evangelizing is the most important thing anybody can do. For the essentials needed, we recommend: baptism, prayer, and an introductory book on Catholic apologetics.
The Sacrament of Confirmation: The Effects of Confirmation, 1303: “It gives us a special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ, to confess the name of Christ boldly, and never to be ashamed of the Cross.”
Here are some ways we can evangelize (and/or promote the faith):
Pray: it is important to pray to the Holy Spirit for guidance, to deepen our own faith, and for the conversion of others. Remember that Blessed Mary and the other saints intercede for us, and that prayers for evangelization are always heard in Heaven. Remember to pray for the Christians who are being persecuted all over the world each and every day.
Review basic apologetics which helps you to explain and defend our faith. Also know that you don't have to be able to answer every question, and if you don't know the answer, admit it. Find the answer from a valid source (catechism, apologetics, priest, and/or pray on it) and then get back to the person as soon as possible. Pray for the person as well.
Keep explanations short and sweet.
Respect others - try hard not to offend them, and be an example of grace and charity... thereby not giving your detractors any ammunition. Aim for ecumenism.
Try to convert leaders of other faiths, as well as celebrities and captains of industry. It is much easier to convert top down than the other way around.
It is good to know some of the basic tenets of other faiths (eg. the other monotheistic religions) so you can counteract core beliefs.
It is important to leave the person(s) with something: a prayer card, rosary with instructions, contact information etc...
Our conduct: we are Christians in every situation, lest we appear as hypocrites. And since our actions affect others, especially if we are leaders, we must conduct ourselves appropriately at all times.
Talk openly about your faith with family members; let it become the easiest and most important subject.
Talk about your faith with co-workers. Timing and circumstance are important, but you'll find the right time.
Start an evangelization group at the local parish. Find like-minded individuals who understand the importance of evangelizing.
Door to door: evangelizing is about bringing the gospel to others, no matter who or where they are.
Preach on the street: Jesus did!
Create an online presence.
Promote the faith by wearing clothes such as a t-shirt or hat with a gospel message. It can be subtle or loud and proud.
Run for office and stay true to your faith and values.
Volunteer at Catholic bookstores, Catholic charities, your local Right to Life centre, and support Catholic businesses in your area.
Bumper stickers. My favourite is: ‟My Boss is a Jewish Carpenter”, or any message that gets people thinking. Promote your parish with bumper stickers as well.
Hand out prayer cards to people you meet.
Hand out bibles.
Become a Sunday School teacher.
Support Catholic schools.
Wear Christian jewellery. It's a conversation starter as well.
Vehicle wraps: they can provide attractive tinting to keep the inside of your car cool while spreading the gospel. If your parish has its own vehicle, be sure to take advantage of the opportunity to advertise using vehicle wraps, lettering, decals, graphics etc. Park it in an area where it will be seen by many when not in use.
Handouts, flyers, or leaflets: an innocuous way to get the life saving message out.
Martyrdom: spreading the gospel in perilous countries is the quickest route to Heaven. Many saints gladly went into harm's way in order to be martyred. Tertullian said: “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church”.
Ask the priest in your parish to take a vow of poverty so that more money can be spent on evangelization. Since many parishes have rectories or ample room to house the local priest, he could move in and not have to pay rent. This would save him and the parish money; not to mention, it would be helpful to have someone living on site for security purposes, insurance reasons, and of course, to be there to administer the sacraments when needed. And let's be sure: a vow of poverty by today's standards, is not true poverty - they'll be well taken care of. If the clergy took a vow of poverty, then they wouldn't have to sell off as many properties to pay for the abuse claims.
If you have the means, buy churches that are for sale and hold them in trust. The very sight of a for sale sign on a church property is abhorrent and causes even more distrust and loss of confidence.
Parishioners and church officials should not be shy in asking others to donate their time, talent and money. If one of the parishioners is a roofer, he or she could do the labour at no cost or at least at a very deep discount, and the materials would be paid for by the parish, unless a parishioner is the owner of a roofing supplies company. Well... you know where I'm headed with this. The point is: we need to get out of the business of volunteering. Years ago, parishes did not have paid staff and if something needed to be done... like building a church, it was done by... you guessed it!
Coffee cups: it can be very inexpensive to emboss your favourite cup with a bible passage or inspirational message.
Defend the faith: it our duty to defend our faith anytime that it is under attack, and when others are spreading errors or falsities about it. Not to say anything... is denying Christ.
Invite at least one person to your Church each week. Let the priest know beforehand so he can prepare.
Set up a welcome committee in your parish to welcome and orientate new and potential parishioners.
Discuss upcoming readings with family and friends.
Fundraise to finance your evangelization efforts, campaigns, and/or missions: bottle drives, flea markets, auctions, dances, plays, concerts, dinners, bake sales, movie night (Christian movie), card socials, canvassing, calendars, collections...
Ask the priest to invite those who live near the parish to mass. Since the Church exists in order to evangelize (according to Pope Paul VI), it is a travesty not to evangelize or at least extend an invitation to those closest to it. The advantages of doing this are numerous including a ripple effect in the community - it is very important!
Organize a parade. Floats and costumes can include those of the saints, or even the holy family.
Organize a parish walk-about in the neighbourhood after mass.
Sponsor a sports team from the local parish with the parish's info on the jerseys.
An outdoor LED display sign would be a great investment for each parish, and an attractive and convenient way to advertise and promote the parish. Changing the information on the sign would only take a few key strokes on the computer. It would be well worth the money to invest in one.
Start a prayer group to pray for the conversion of others. Don't forget to pray for the conversion of leaders of other faiths.
Be respectful of others when talking about your faith. Talking about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, is always done out of love and concern for others; we care enough about them to not want them to perish. But don't be shy either.
Be willing to share your faith at the appropriate time with anyone - but know that faith takes time to develop in others (we cannot control that process), and that like sowers of seed, not all seed will fall on fertile soil (we cannot control that either). We have to give up control and trust in God. He is truly with us.
Realize that evangelization is our most important duty, and that we are never alone in our evangelization efforts.
Encourage church leaders, especially cardinals and bishops to pound the pavement - especially in poorer areas and neighbourhoods. This is what our Lord did, and no servant is greater than his/her master. We firmly believe that there would be a tremendous shift if that happened. We also believe that the higher the rank, the more humble one should become. “More and more humble your pride; what awaits man is worms.” Sirach 7:17
Fast or make other sacrifices for evangelizations' sake.
In whatever way you can, draw positive attention to Christ (use your imagination). However, conflict is sometimes unavoidable and we must stay true to our faith. What is the worse they can do to us?
As an invaluable resource, purchase our book, which covers every aspect of evangelization (and promotion of the faith) including: starting an evangelization campaign; learn how missions work and how to prepare for one; how to evangelize door to door, what to say in every situation and what tools you'll need (a step by step coaching tool); a complete marketing campaign; how to use any promotional product for evangelization; sure-fire ways to keep costs down; how to bring up the gospel in any situation; how to involve the Church in every aspect of evangelization; learn all about evangelization committees, the full-time evangelist, welcome committees, evangelization funds etc.; how to get parishioners involved; how to increase the number of parishioners in your parish no matter how dire the situation seems; how to use almost any form of media for evangelization; how to create social media pages (Facebook, Twitter etc.), websites, blogs, forums, podcasts, your very own internet radio and television programs and stations; how to deepen your faith; the conversion of others; how to make the most out of your prayer life, and how to use prayer as a powerful tool for evangelization; a list of intercessory prayers; how to overcome pitfalls and setbacks; how to prove to naysayers God's existence through the many miracles He has given us (miracles were given to us for a reason); how to get others to believe in the gospel - on faith; how to remain positive in the face of criticism, negativity and hostility; how to live your faith everyday; advice from the saints; a free Come and See* invitation to use; assistance and guidance at every step of the way, and much much more...
Painstakingly written to provide Catholics all the necessary information to spread the gospel, build up Christ's church, while at the same time strengthening their faith. When all these magnificent aspects of evangelization are happening, more and more people will hear and respond to the calling to the priesthood and consecrated life, and so - the blessed cycle continues. With the help of the Holy Spirit, this book will show you in no uncertain terms how to get fired up for the Lord. It is also the ultimate book on practical ways of spreading the gospel, giving the reader a step by step guide for application and execution of evangelization methods and principles in innumerable situations.
Not only is this book the definitive resource on practical ways of spreading the gospel and building up the church, it is also an excellent means to renew and revive your own faith and that of others!
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Evangelization is so important that even God walked among us to do it. He led by example then commanded His disciples to proclaim those life-saving words to others.
Two thousand years ago Christ was the message, and He still is today. We too, as members of the Body of Christ, are obliged to continue spreading the life-giving message of the gospel.
However, the alarming trend is: decreasing faith, less parishioners, fewer churches, and a downturn in the number of vocations to the priesthood. Couple this with increased secularism and other forces at work, and the urgency becomes glaringly apparent.
We are at another critical point in history of the Catholic Church, which is why I wrote this book.
It is not a superficial analysis, nor does it pay lip service to this urgent subject. Catholic Evangelization is the most comprehensive book on practical methods of evangelization that has ever been written.
With the help of the Holy Spirit, even if you applied only one or two of the countless examples, approaches and easy-to-follow steps outlined in this book, it would bear fruit.
At just $4.99 it may be the most practical and beneficial purchase you'll ever make. Click here to buy now and you'll be reading immediately; no waiting weeks for it to be delivered!
Thank you and God bless,
“This book is truly inspiring, insightful, and an invaluable resource for all Catholics.” E. McDonnel, M.Ed., Religious Ed. Instructor, N.S. Canada
Coming soon, Christopher MacDonald's next book:
Common reminders about evangelization:
You have to go the people; you can't expect that they will come to you
Expecting that others will come to us is a mistake even some high ranking Catholics make. Sure, we must use every resource at our disposal, including electronic means. We must also continually invite others to our church, functions, rallies, gatherings etc. Evangelization, in its most basic form, is about bringing the message to others.
Continually pray for help and guidance
Many of us can get caught up in the details when it comes to evangelization - in its many forms. However, the sacraments prepare us for evangelization, and the Holy Spirit guides us. Sometimes, the devil is in the details, if you pardon the expression. So don't over think it, or you may lose valuable opportunities to evangelize or you may never even get started in the first place.
We must pray for guidance, and pray for the conversion of the people we are evangelizing. The Lord of the universe is also our Savior (meaning: to save). Have faith. Trust in the Lord. The Lord always inclines his ear for evangelization prayers.
Christian countries must also evangelize its immigrants for obvious reasons. For example, some Christian countries are now islamic states; many others are headed that way.
It is becoming more apparent that many are blinded or in denial about what is truly going on here, but we will surely pay the price for not effectively evangelizing.
Many western countries with their present institutions and way of life, were founded by Christians and built upon Christian principles. If they want to continue that way, they will have to evangelize.
Again: we will pay a heavy price for abandoning our faith (and not defending it)... for not evangelizing.
It is also important to remember in our prayers, the persecuted Christians in other countries.
Lead by example
Pope Francis leads by example. But I'm not too sure about many other high ranking servants of God. I would love to see cardinals and bishops pounding the pavement and bringing the word of God to others, door to door, in the streets, and also leading austere lives that would be an example to everyone. No servant is greater than his master; so we must evangelize as He did, as well as strive for moderation.
It is my firm belief that you would surely see a monumental shift if cardinals and bishops took vows of poverty, and also began to evangelize everyday in the streets, in poorer neighbourhoods, hospitals, alley ways, ghettos, worn torn areas... etc.
Evangelizing increases our own faith
Evangelizing is our most important task. Spreading the gospel helps to increase our own faith, it builds up the church, and, evangelization, by its very nature, will increase vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life.
As a final note: no one should underestimate the urgency of the need to evangelize.
You will find much, much more in the book:
Paradoxically, those in western countries have misconstrued freedoms including the right to terminate/abort babies; however, under sharia law, they won't even be allowed to kill their own babies.
If you enjoy your freedom, you will follow your faith, defend it, and evangelize!
*Come and See - we were one of the first to start using the Come and See catchphrase from John 1:46 in relation to evangelization. Often imitated, we are flattered but yet humbled.
No other book takes such a thorough and creative examination of the innumerable and practical ways in which Roman Catholics can spread the gospel, build up the church, and at the same time deepen their faith.
This is a timely book considering the decline in the faithful and drop-off in church attendance. With church closures and reasonable estimates that less than twenty-five percent of Catholics go to mass every week, this book is truly a rally cry and wakeup call for all Catholics. It is a superb tool for clergy, parishioners, missionaries, evangelists, teachers, professors and students. With a common sense approach and easy-to-read format, even Catholics new to the faith will find it informative and inspiring. No Catholic should be without this remarkable resource!
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