Sharing the faith: Got motivation?
By Patrick Murphy and Jodi Marlin
Like most people, Lisa Canning is busy. She’s a wife and a businesswoman in Toronto, and the mother of a newborn. Yet, she intends to make time for the New Evangelization Summit May 12-13.
“I would not miss it,” said Canning. “As a working mom, it’s easy to forget about my call to evangelize … to think it’s a job for someone else. The summit reminds me that this is my job too.”
By virtue of the sacrament of baptism, it’s the call of each and every Catholic person to share the good news of the Gospel with those who have not yet been brought to Christ — and the fundamental mission of the church as well.
“Experience has taught, in our diocese and in the broader church, that understanding the Catechism of the Catholic Church and knowing the teachings of our church does not guarantee a relationship with Jesus Christ,” said Mary Glowaski, director of the Office of Evangelization of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. “In bringing NES to our diocese, Bishop Rhoades is providing each of us an opportunity to consider the many ways we can embrace our Gospel call to form joyful, committed, ‘intentional disciples.’”
This is the third New Evangelization Summit in North America, but the first in which this diocese will participate. Fort Wayne-South Bend will be the only diocese offering not one, but two livestreaming participation sites; one at St. John the Baptist Church, 4500 Fairfield Ave., Fort Wayne, and another at St. Monica Church, 222 W. Mishawaka Ave., South Bend. Each site will host the broadcast from 7-9:30 p.m. Friday, May 12, and from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, May 13.
The “new evangelization” has been a holy call to Catholics ever since St. John Paul II used the phrase on his historic trip to Poland in 1979. The New Evangelization Summit brings this call to life in the everyday experience of Catholics who want to share the joy of the Gospel.
The New Evangelization Summit is one of the largest events of its kind happening in the world today. It will bring together leading Catholic experts such as Bishop Robert Barron and Peter Herbeck, whose sound teaching, practical wisdom and dynamic speaking styles combine to inspire attendees so that they can picture themselves as evangelists. The conference will also offer opportunities for attendees to hone their skills at sharing their faith with others and leading people to salvation in Jesus Christ. Five thousand people are expected to attend.
“I have desired our diocese’s participation in the New Evangelization Summit as an impetus to our ongoing efforts to spread the Gospel with renewed energy and vigor, and especially through outreach to inactive Catholics and the unchurched,” stated The Most Reverend Kevin C. Rhoades, Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend.
The summit will be take place in Ottawa and be broadcast simultaneously to 38 sites across Canada and the U.S. The aim will be to inspire, encourage and train lay Catholics, through the sharing of personal stories, practical wisdom and resources, in ways to evangelize effectively.
“The fruit of the summit can be life-changing for the individual as well as individual parishes,” said Glowaski. “We are privileged to live in a diocese that offers us many opportunities for personal, spiritual enrichment. NES will offer us new ways, new approaches to consider for sharing the gifts, the joy and the sustaining love we experience in our relationships with Jesus Christ. NES will teach us new and effective ways to share our very Good News.”
Attending the summit was a life-changing experience for Canning, who owns an interior design company. “It’s a great conference for on-fire Catholics who want to change the world,” she said.” The energy at the summit is just so positive. Being surrounded by committed Catholics is encouraging and reminds me I am not alone in my journey as an evangelist. I highly recommend it.”
Some of the fruits of the summit are anticipated to be the creation and encouragement of a culture of evangelization within parishes, the establishment of a common vision and language for evangelization, development and inspiration among parish and diocesan staff members and lay members of congregations, the opportunity for networking and the opportunity to partake in the New Evangelization and live out the church’s missionary call.
There is a ticket price of $35 to attend, which includes lunch. For more information or to purchase tickets visit newevangelization.ca.