A FRAMEWORK FOR MOVING YOUR PARISH DIRECTLY INTO THE MINISTRY OF EVANGELIZATION
CREATING THE EVANGELIZING PARISH challenges those who realize the importance of evangelization and are eager to make an impact on Catholic Church life today. Co-authors Frank DeSiano and Kenneth Boyack clearly explain the definition of evangelization and offer for further clarification, an "encounter model" of evangelization which specifically places the ministry into the framework of personal relationships. The authors then describe actual parish dynamics and organization in terms of their universal evangelizing purposes as understood by the church.
CREATING THE EVANGELIZING PARISH is key reading for church leaders who want to take charge of their parishes' direction, establish evangelization teams, and implement effective parish strategies for renewal. Every pastor, pastoral staff member, parish counselor, and other workers in evangelization will gladly welcome this book as a pastoral and practical resource for their ministry.. CREATING THE EVANGELIZING PARISH will richly reward those who look for new directions in their ministry and the church.
Kenneth Boyack, CSP. is Director of the Paulist National Catholic Evangelization Association and Consultant to the NCCB Committee on Evangelization.
Frank DeSiano, CSP. is Director of Parish-Based Evangelization in Washington, D.C. He is also Consultor for the United States Bishops' Committee on Evangelization [USCCJ and a preacher of parish renewals on a national level.
"Creating the Evangelizing Parish is intended to be a contribution to a dynamic and growing movement, Catholic Evangelization, particularly in English-speaking North America. While the post Vatican II generation of Catholics has heard a steady rise in "evangelization language" and seen a dramatic increase in evangelizing activity, we know there is a need to increase interest in and skills for evangelizing. That is the simple purpose of this book. No more important movement for the Church exists than evangelization.
"Three particular streams have converged to make this book possible. One is the experience of the Paulist Evangelization Training Institute where, for over five summers, Catholics have been invited to the Paulist house, St. Paul's College, in Washington, DC, to learn about Catholic evangelization. Over 550 people have attended these Institutes, teaching us as well about the power and depth of evangelization in our culture. This book covers much of the material presented at the Institute sessions.
"A second stream has been the ministry of Parish-Based Evangelization which has formed evangelization teams in over a dozen parishes in the Washington, DC, area and, with those groups, developed and fostered evangelizing activities. If the Institutes have sharpened our vision of evangelization, the parishes have refined that vision with the up-and-down, win-and-lose practice of ministering for the Good News of Jesus from the framework of the Catholic parish.
"The third stream of convergence is the ministry of the Paulist National Catholic Evangelization Association (PNCEA). Under its founder and first director, the late Father Alvin A. Illig, CSP, the
PNCEA has continually sought to develop the ministry of evangelization in North America through training Catholics and through creating programs and resources to share the Gospel with inactive Catholics and those with no church family.
"Evangelization has yet a while to go before it matures and we, least of all, would pretend to be offering final words or final solutions. What we can offer, however, is a chance to deepen both the conversation and the activity of evangelization in our modem society. To be sure, as Paulists, we have a decisive "Paulist slant" to what we are about---concentrating on proclaiming the Gospel to people without a church or church family or faith practice, with optimism and confidence, appealing to what is best in our culture. Just the same, we are also deeply invested in the wider Church's vision of evangelization, as initially enunciated by Pope Paul VI and as recently specified by the bishops of the United States in their National Plan and Strategy for evangelization, Go and Make Disciples.
"We have tried to write a non-technical book and have kept references to a minimum since we do not wish to contribute to the idea that evangelization is some kind of technical or elitist skill. While girls in evangelization surely vary, we affirm that every believer has, one way or another, a role in evangelization and we would like to see this book as a way to involve more people in the ministry.
"If this book can get more people comfortable with the idea that they have something to bring to our society and they have someone to bring to a knowledge of Christ Jesus in the Catholic Church, then we will have done a tiny bit toward fulfilling the endlessly challenging command of Jesus that we "go and make disciples of all the nations" (Matthew 28:19) including those of North America.