Evangelization is the vocation of every baptized Catholic. And yet it happens best when it is intentional. It happens best as a result of strategic priorities, careful plans and intentional choices made by those who understand the evangelizing purpose of the parish.
Two survey tools are available which can be used by parishes looking for where to start. The first is a parish planning survey which measures parishioner engagement and parish effectiveness in achieving the goals of evangelization as articulated by the US Bishops. The second is a parish assessment tool which measures the strength of particular areas of parish life which are considered necessary for long term vitality. Contact the Office of Parish Life for help in best practices for survey distribution and analysis of results.
The Office of Parish Life also provides several programs - courses, retreats and workshops that a parish or parish cluster can use to equip leaders for the work of evangelization.
Consider the variety of resources - articles, tools and strategies available below which can be used to help a parish realize its evangelization plan:
Disciples Called to Witness: The New Evangelization
(United States Conference of Catholic Bishops)
Go and Make Disciples: A National Plan and Strategy for Catholic Evangelization in the United States
(United States Conference of Catholic Bishops)
On Evangelization in the Modern World
(Pope Paul VI)
How We Can Reach Unchurched Larry and Mary (Fr. Martin Pable)
Art of Hospitality (Rev. Eduardo Montemayor)
Five Steps Process for One to One Evangelization (adapted from Fr. Martin Pable)
Dealing with Discouragement (John J. Boucher)
Too Few in the Pew (Archdiocese of Philadelphia)
Fishing with Nets or with Poles (Lorie Duquin)
Ash Wednesday Welcome Cards
Christmas Welcome Cards
Parish Planning Survey
Parish Assessment Tool
Everyday Evangelization (St. Leo Church, Tonawanda)
Parish Evangelization Team Manual (Archdiocese of Philadelphia)
Home Visitation Manual (Archdiocese of Philadelphia)
In Other Dioceses
Archdiocese of Chicago (www.goingforth.org)
Archdiocese of Indianapolis (http://www.archindy.org/evangelization/index.html)
Archdiocese of Philadelphia (http://archphila.org/evangelization/formlaity/parish_evangelization/parish_evangelization.htm)
Archdiocese of San Antonio (http://www.archsa.org/Evangelization)
Archdiocese of Washington (http://www.adw.org/pastoral/default.asp)
When Someone You Love Leaves the Church (Lorene Hanley Duquin, Our Sunday Visitor, 2001)
Faith Rediscovered: Coming Home to Catholicism by Lawrence S. Cunningham (Paulist Press)
Christian Hospitality (Archdiocese of Louisville, KY)
Practicing Catholic by Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk (St. Anthony Messenger Press)
Returning Home to Your Catholic Faith: An Invitation by Sally Mews (Liguori Publications)
While You Were Gone: A Handbook for Returning Catholics by William J. Bausch (Twenty-Third Publications)
When They Come Home: Ways to Welcome Returning Catholics (Melanie Rigney and Anna M. Lanave, Twenty-Third Publ 2009)
The Mission Driven Parish (Patrick J. Brennan, Orbis Books 2007)
Lay Ministers, Lay Disciples: Evangelizing Power in the Parish (Gerding and DeSiano, Paulist Press 1999)
Great Ideas from Great Parishes (Mary Ann Jeleson and Carole Garibaldi Rogers, Renew Int'l, 2003)
From Maintenance to Mission: Evangelization and the Revitalization of the Parish (Robert S. Rivers, CSP).
Could You Ever Come Back to the Catholic Church? (Lorene Hanley Duquin, Alba House, 1997)
"Seeking an Annulment", "Top 10 Reasons to Come Back to Church" and more.and other pamphlets by Lorene Hanley Duquin and others from Our Sunday Visitor (800-348-2440); www.osv.com/pamphlets ($14.95 packets of 50) Leaflets Liguori Publications (800-325-9521); www.liguori.org ($6.95 packets of 25)
A Time to Listen . . . A Time to Heal, A Resource Directory for Reaching out to Inactive Catholics. No. 5-306 (U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, 800-235-8722, www.usccb.org)
Yes, I Can Believe (Frank DeSiano, CSP, Paulist Press).
Jump Start: Evangelization Starter Kit (Paulist Evangelization Ministries)
Awakening Faith (a six-week, 90 minute session program published by Paulists Evangelization Ministries) is designed to invite both inactive and even active Catholics "to feel something about their faith again".
Catholics Continuing the Journey (a faith-sharing program for small groups by Sally Mews) a six weekly two-hour session for those who have recently returned to the Church and for others who are seeking to renew and strengthen their faith. Inviting Catholics Home (a six-week session aimed at helping Catholics return to Church) by Sally Mews.
101 Questions & Answers on the Bible (R. E. Brown, Paulist Press)
Catholic Q & A: Answers to the Most Common Questions about Catholicism (J.J. Dietzen, Crossroad Publishing)
Remaining Catholic: Six Good Reasons for Staying in an Imperfect Church (Rev. Martin Pable, ACTA Publications)
Why be Catholic? Understanding our Experience and Tradition (R. Rohr & J. Martos, St. Anthony Messenger Press)
Catholicism: Now I Get It! by F.S. Smith (Our Sunday Visitor)
Quest - a several Sunday, scripture-based reflection booklet for those who gather in small Christian communities (Archdiocese of Hartford, CT).
Longing for the Holy: Spirituality for Everyday Life Ronald Rohlheiser, OMI) a twelve-session process for spiritual and pastoral renewal based on selected insights from his book, The Holy Longing.
Reclaim the Fire: A Parish Guide to Evangelization (Rev. Martin Pable)
Faith sharing materials - many choices available for online purchase from www.renewintl.org. The Impact series booklets are designed for small groups (six sessions every two or three weeks).
For more parish resources contact:
Office of Parish Life
795 Main St.
Buffalo, NY 14203