In the Diocese of Salina, the Office of New Evangelization facilitates the ministry of “re-proposing the Gospel’s message of hope to those in a crisis of faith caused my secularization.”
“Secularization” is sometimes more popularly known as “the ways of the world” or as the aspects of our modern American “culture” that are contrary to the life of faith and discipleship. Secularization has a way of robbing us of our hope, assaulting our assurance that, with God’s grace, we will see our way through what seems at the time such a daunting challenge.
The message of hope is in the invitation to Catholics to renew their own relationship with the person of Jesus Christ and his Church. It is also a call to each person to share his or her faith with others. This renewal always involves a conversion, a change, a transformation away from sin that leads to a new depth of faithfulness and discipleship. It leads to a deepened sense of hope.
“Conversion” is not to be understood in terms of a change of affiliation from one religious tradition to another or as of going through a series of instructions that brings one to “become Catholic.” Instead, conversion is a process by which a deepened relationship with Christ empowers a person to experience life-shaping changes of mind and heart.
As a first step in better understanding the New Evangelization, it is helpful to have practical examples of how a person is in need of conversion. In an effort to “put a face” on the ways that people concretely encounter the lure of secularization, the Diocese of Salina has constructed an outline of “The Five Wounds of Secularization.” The “Five Wounds” relate to five different messages transmitted by “the world” that assault the life of faith and the hope offered by the revelation of God in Jesus Christ. These Five Wounds are:
Link to document pdf “ Five Wounds of Secularization.” - in simple text (35 KB)
Link to document document "Five Wounds of Secularization" - booklet (28 KB)
c.f. “What is the New Evangelization?” by Pope Benedict XVI on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/how-we-teach/new-evangelization/index.cfm
 c.f. United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, p. 333.
 United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, p. 451.
The year 2015 has many reminders of the place of the family in the life of the Church. Looking forward to 2015, the Extraordinary Synod in Rome (in October, 2014) discussed “Pastoral Challenges to the Family in the Context of Evangelization.” That Synod opened a year of discussion and prayer leading to another gathering of bishops in October, 2015, with the theme "The vocation and mission of the family in the Church and in the contemporary world." In the meantime, Pope Francis will be attending the World Meeting of Families, taking place in Philadelphia in late September, 2015.
For all the human experiences that provide a legitimate framework for Evangelization, 2015 seems especially rich with references to family life. Therefore, the Office of New Evangelization in the Diocese of Salina is focusing on how the Gospel’s message of hope is experienced in and through the family.
Each month during 2015, the Office of New Evangelization is providing parishes a few suggested activities related to Evangelization in and through the family. These suggestions may be especially helpful to parish Evangelization Commissions and/or Family Life Commissions. These activities are only suggestions. They are designed to provide food for thought and prayer among parishioners about the family as a locus of God’s revelation of life-changing love through Jesus Christ. These activities are also designed to (hopefully) spark some faith-based conversation beyond the parish in informal gatherings of friends and family. Perhaps the conversation might begin with, “We’re doing this at St. XYZ parish and it is making me think about ….” Or the conversation may come from another direction, “What’s that I saw (or heard about) that you Catholics are doing with (the activity) at St. XYZ parish?”
Not every activity will “fit” every parish. Despite the way that suggested activities are offered during a particular month, there may be other months during the year that will work for their implementation. It may take a few (or several) months to organize and implement an activity. The parish will necessarily have to pick and choose from among the suggested activities to determine which ones are likely to be most effective in that parish (or group of parishes.)
Feel free to contact the Salina Diocese Office of New Evangelization for more information!
Link to monthly parish activity suggestions:
Parish council, school council, parish committee meetings often begin with a prayer, often lead by one of the parishioner members of the council or committee. Even with the internet and other resources, it can be a bit of a challenge to find a suitable prayer format that is both user-friendly but more than simple rote recitation of a familiar prayer.
If you’re interested in a simple prayer format that incorporates some brief small-group faith-sharing, the Office of New Evangelization offers this idea:
The theme for the 2014-15 Catechetical Year is “Teaching about God’s Gift of Forgiveness.” The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston developed nine, easy-to-use outlines for brief faith-sharing at meetings related to this theme of God’s forgiveness. Easily accomplished in 5-10 minutes at the beginning of a meeting, each topic begins with a brief teaching, and then offers a question related to the topic. The responses to the question(s) can be shared “on the spot” without any preparation, but is best served when distributed to meeting participants in advance to allow some reflection time. After the faith-sharing of brief reflections, that section of the meeting time could conclude with a simple common prayer, such as The Glory Be.
The following are items to consider when conducting a "Faith-Sharing" group.
Ways to Keep the Lord’s Day Holy
by Loving God, Family, & Neighbor
These are some suggested ideas from which you can choose
Last updated 4/7/11
Before Sunday & In Preparation for Sunday
Things You Can Do:
99+ Simple and Effective Ways to Evangelize as a Catholic
salinadiocese.org/new-evangelizationOffice of the New Evangelization – Diocese of Salina
Receive the Gospel of Christ, whose herald you have become. Believe what
you read, teach what you believe, and practice what you teach.
1) Be proud (in the good sense) of being a Catholic. Live your life with holy boldness.
2) Focus on what is truly important. Relationships are what’s important. Christian values are important.
3) Set time apart daily for God. Don’t be afraid to tell others you do that.
4) Smile a lot. It makes you happy. It also makes others happy. It’s a great witness to your Christian joy. Smiling is a one word Christian philosophy on living.
5) Make Mass a habit; try to work daily Mass into your life as frequently as you can.
6) Say “Thank you” as often as you can. Expressing gratitude makes you more appreciative of what you have. Gratitude is a beautiful virtue. It helps make you, and those you thank, happy!
7) Choose to be a disciple of Jesus Christ; not simply a volunteer: pray, fast, give alms. Do works of service. Gently share your faith and explain how it brings you happiness.
8) Try always to do things in love. Let the love you choose be “agape love”… that is, love for the sake of the other.
9) Keep Sunday’s holy. Try not to spend money or engage in competitive organized sports on the Sabbath. Try not to do things that require others to work on Sunday.
10) Forgive others, sincerely.
Synthesis of the New Evangelization
The Church "Is Called to Something New"
The New Evangelization is symbolized in the Samaritan woman at the well (cf. John 4:5-42).
At some point in our life we all find ourselves like the woman of Samaria beside a well with an empty bucket, with the hope of finding the fulfillment of the heart's most profound desire, that which alone could give full meaning to existence. Today, many wells offer themselves to quench humanity's thirst, but we must discern in order to avoid polluted waters. This poison water can seriously harm our souls.
Like Jesus at the well of Sychar, the Church also feels obliged to sit beside today's men and women. She wants to render the Lord present in their lives so that they could encounter him because he alone is the water that gives true and eternal life. Only Jesus can read the depths of our heart and reveal the truth about ourselves: “He told me everything I have done”, the woman confesses to her fellow citizens. This word of proclamation is united to the question that opens up to faith: “Could he possibly be the Messiah?” It shows that whoever receives new life from encountering Jesus cannot but proclaim truth and hope to others. The sinner who was converted becomes a messenger of salvation and leads the whole city to Jesus. The people pass from welcoming her testimony to personally experiencing the encounter: “We no longer believe because of your word; for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the savior of the world”.
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5 Reasons Why We Should Try to Go To Daily Mass
I’ve been going to daily Mass for the greater part of twenty years. In the days and weeks after September 11, my soul was touched by the number of people who also began attending. I thought I understood God’s purpose in allowing that evil day to happen. It seemed the churches were half-full, at daily Masses. I wondered why they we not completely full. Then, as things seem to brighten and become more stable, the churches gradually emptied again. I guess we really didn’t understand… God’s love and protection are the only real stability we will ever know in life.
So, below are five reasons I go to daily Mass. I believe they are five of the same reasons you, also, might consider.
1. Receiving Christ in the Blessed Eucharist gives us the strength to fight selfish pride and sin.
Pride and ego are two of the many demons most of us must battle constantly. We desire pleasure, things, convenience, notice, etc. It’s a constant struggle to weaken these impulses… especially when they impact our other priorities and relationships. We cannot win the struggle alone. We were not created perfect. We were born frail and defective so that we might acknowledge that any good which happens in us or through us is from God.
It takes supernatural strength to combat ego; and we can get that strength from our Lord present in the Eucharist. The sanctifying grace that pours through us when we receive the consecrated host allows us to stop before uttering a word of anger, or engaging in a selfish sin. Simply put, the Eucharist strengthens us for the daily journey.
2. Praising God first thing in the morning is the most important thing on our daily calendar.
“First things first”, as they say. And since we’ve been blessed to be a member of this one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church, we should understand that it’s a privilege and a gift that we can make God the first and most important person in our day by worshipping Him in His temple. Plus, God asks for the first fruits of our harvest, the first tenth of all our blessings. Going to Mass is offering the first part of our day to the Lord who is the source of all our blessings. It’s the best form of Catholic stewardship.
3. The Mass is my ongoing spiritual formation.
One beautiful thing about the Mass is that it is so drenched in scripture. Attending Mass daily allows us to soak in God’s Word. Reading and reflecting on the daily scriptures the evening before makes the Mass seem even richer and more fulfilling. The Mass helps us get a full Catholic education in Christ -- stewardship, the sacraments, the saints, and evangelization -- 260 days a year. It helps us grown in the Lord a day at a time.
4. The Mass heals.
Every Mass is a healing experience. It heals wounds caused by our sinful nature, it heals our relationship with God and with one another, bringing us closer to our Lord, giving us opportunities to draw near and receive Him not only in the Word, but also in the Blessed Sacrament.
5. You meet your Creator, your friend, your love.
It is good to be a friend and lover of God. On the day we see Him face-to-face, we will realize that which we have missed throughout our lives. As Saint Augustine says: “my heart is restless until it rests in You.” Find your shelter in the wings of the Lord. Find it, every morning, in His Holy temple. During the day, find it in silent prayer wherever we are.
We will come to yearn for the Lord knowing that our day is incomplete without prayer and worship. We will find no greater solace than in His Word, in His sacraments, and in surrendering to His love. In accepting the challenge of meeting Jesus daily in the Eucharist, we will find more joy than ever.
Tips For Making A Good Confession
1) …pray before going into the confessional, try to recollect and remember our sins;
2) …examine our consciences regularly and thoroughly;
2) …wait our turn in line patiently; be praying and/or reflecting upon the sins we will confess;
3) …come at the time confessions are scheduled, not a few minutes before they are to end;
4) …speak distinctly but not so loudly that we might be overheard;
5) …state our sins clearly and briefly without rambling;
6) …confess all mortal sins in number and kind;
7) …listen carefully to the advice the priest gives;
8) …confess our own sins and not someone else’s;
9) …carefully listen to and remember the penance and be sure to understand it;
10) …use a regular formula for confession so that it is familiar and comfortable;
11) …never be afraid to say something “embarrassing”… just say it;
12) …never worry that the priest will judge us…. he is usually impressed by our courage;
13) …never fear that the priest will not keep our confession secret… he is bound by the Seal;
14) …“tendencies” or “struggles” are not sins; but it can be good to discuss them with the priest
15) …never leave the confessional before the priest has finished giving absolution;
16) …memorize an Act of Contrition;
17) …answer the priest’s questions briefly if he asks for a clarification;
18) …ask questions if we can’t understand what he means when he tells us something;
19) …keep in mind that sometimes priests can have bad days just like we do;
20) …remember that priests must go to confession too … so they know what we are going through.