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|99+ Effective Ways to Evangelize as a Catholic|
|Written by Deacon Mark Roberti|
|Thursday, 14 July 2011 08:00|
99+ Simple and Effective Ways to Evangelize as a Catholic
Receive the Gospel of Christ, whose herald you have become. Believe what
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.
11) Be hospitable. Invite, welcome, and engage others as a Catholic lifestyle.
12) Mention your faith in public. Don’t be afraid to tell your story. Your life is your experience of faith. Recognize where God has “broken in”. Tell others. Feel free to speculate on a recent “God moment”.
13) Say “thank God”, “I believe”, or “Amen” in public.
14) Go to confession regularly. Once a month is a good “rule of thumb”. Make this a family practice, too.
15) Be bold enough to say, “That is against my faith”, or “my faith teaches….”
16) Make it a regular habit to visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
17) Invite somebody to church. This is especially effective during Advent, Christmas, Ash Wednesday, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost.
18) Fast regularly. Even small fasts teach spiritual discipline.
19) Wear a crucifix or scapular. Say a brief prayer before you put it.
20) Recognize that special moments in life – the birth of a child, baptism, a marriage, the reception of a sacrament, a death, a funeral – are all privileged moments for evangelization. People share in these events, and are moved by them, even if they do not participate in “a faith walk” or “church” regularly.
21) Make a brief “morning offering” to God when you awake.
22) Visit family and friends regularly.
23) Recognize that modern technologies are changing the way we interact with each other. Heart-to-heart and face-to-face conversations are still the best way to communicate. This also holds true in communicating the faith.
24) Pray for the souls in Purgatory, particularly deceased loved ones.
25) Participate in a Catholic or ecumenical Bible study or faith sharing group.
26) If someone has a misguided belief as to what the Church teaches, clear it up for him/her.
27) Tithe. It helps you set good spiritual and material priorities and makes you more grateful to God.
28) Care for your aged relatives as best you can…and for other aged people.
29) Subscribe to the Diocese of Salina Register. It keeps you linked to the local church.
30) Read other Catholic literature regularly. Bring it up in conversation.
31) Start, or be part of a hospitality committee in your parish. Contact the Office of the New Evangelization for a “Hospitality Ideas Manual.”
32) Dress appropriately, and with dignity. As a Christian, you represent Christ, not the culture.
33) Walk with people in their sufferings.
34) Use a window/bumper sticker to promote the faith.
35) Get an “In God we Trust” state of Kansas license plate.
36) Stand against moral degeneration in our nation.
37) Call evil by name. “Be not afraid” is mentioned 153 times in the Bible in one expression or another. It is the most mentioned phrase in the Bible.
38) Make time for others. Be accessible to them.
39) Send cards to the sick and bereaved.
40) Say less. Think before you make a quip. Does it glorify God?
41) Wear a good Catholic/ Christian T-shirt.
42) Take someone to see a movie or rent a video or participate in cultural or artistic activities that have healthy spiritual overtones.
43) Be friendly.
44) Be truthful.
45) Take time to play. Invite others.
46) Say grace before meals…making the Sign of the Cross wherever you are.
47) Display religious items in your home, office, or vehicle.
48) Stop gossiping.
49) Run an event or sports program out of the church for the community.
50) Help your parish do a periodic youth all-nighter.
51) Pray the Rosary…and sometimes on a park bench. Pray it slowly, putting yourself there at the mystery and decade you are reciting.
52) Visit someone who is lonely.
53) Join the Knights, Daughters of Isabella, Catholic Daughters, Legion of Mary, Serrans, etc.
54) Take a white river rafting trip with Catholic youth/families.
55) Go fishing with Christian friends.
56) Invite people to your home for meals. Breaking bread together is important.
57) Have a BBQ, with family and friends, include some Christian conversation.
58) Buy religious items as presents for birthday, Christmas, anniversary, etc.
59) Read some Scripture daily; memorize & use some verses you particularly like.
60) Read Catholic books and magazines, listen to Catholic tapes. Discuss them with friends both Catholic and non-Catholic. Keep the discussion gentle, respectful, and passionate.
61) Volunteer at a soup kitchen, city jail, or prison.
62) Do a retreat. See ideas for various retreats below.
63) Be a scout leader. Make sure the right values are being suggested.
64) Place religious statuary in your yard.
65) Man a booth promoting Catholicism, life, or Christian values at a fair.
66) Use K of C “Keep Christ in Christmas” window magnets or stickers.
67) Use Divine Mercy stickers or signs on your car or outside your home.
68) Assist the Diocese Office of the New Evangelization or the parish with Catholic radio spots. Usually, a not-for-profit gets a discount and we can make certain the message is conveyed the way the Church would like it conveyed.
69) The same with #68 but can be done with newspapers, magazines, cable, or TV spots.
70) Respectfully challenge an atheist. Ask what the purpose of his/her life is? Ask him/her how he can know his/her values have any merit outside himself? Explain how knowing, loving, and serving God in this life and being happy with Him forever in eternity is your purpose in life.
71) Laugh a lot. Share good, wholesome, jokes…and religious jokes.
72) Seek spiritual direction. Give spiritual direction as a friend….always promote what the Church promotes. We all need an objective shoulder to lean on.
73) Support and promote pro-life agencies and organizations.
74) Support charities with wholesome values. Don’t support charities that do 95% good things and 5% bad. Explain why…that there are organizations that you agree with 100% and you prefer to support them.
75) Encourage young men and women not to live together. Be confident in stating that true love really does wait.
76) Encourage young couples to learn “theology of the body” and discourage them from using artificial means of birth control and engaging in pre-martial sex. The arguments are compelling from a physical health perspective, a Christian spirituality standpoint, and in encouraging true love.
77) Go to adult education talks in your parish. Invite co-workers, family, and friends to go with you. For ideas, speak to your pastor. The Office of the New Evangelization also has a “Speakers List” and a “PowerPoint Talks List”.
78) Help the parish sponsor a Catholic billboard. Or work together with friends to support one through the diocese.
79) Have a Friday (or Saturday) Night at the Movies in your parish. Bring potluck snacks. Choose a movie with Christian themes or imagery, discuss the imagery afterwards. The Chronicles of Narnia series are a good place to start. They are also good for young families. The Lord of the Rings trilogy is great for young adults and older.
80) Have witness nights at your parish. Share several conversion stories. Combine it with a potluck.
81) Read a book -- over a period of days/weeks -- to a senior or a child.
82) Be a Eucharistic Minister to the homebound.
83) Adopt a grandparent as a family. Invite them to your home for holidays, or visit them during the holidays. (Often seniors are more comfortable in their own homes).
84) Take your kids, or grandkids, to the playground. Converse with others while you are there.
85) Participate in the Annual Life Chain event; help at a pregnancy counseling center; or support Rachel’s Vineyard post-abortion healing retreat.
86) Reduce your intake of television, movies, and the internet.
87) Spend some time in silent reflection. Start with five minutes a day. Try to visualize darkness, calmness, nothingness, peace. Block out other thoughts. God will “break-in” when He wants. You will recognize him.
88) Spend some time with nature. Thank God for his creation and His incredible creativity.
89) When an inappropriate thought crosses your mind, turn it around into something for which you can praise God’; then, do so.
90) Tell God you love Him regularly and spontaneously.
91) Tell others you love them, too. As St. Francis taught, “use words when necessary”.
92) Apologize when you make a mistake or hurt someone.
93) Stop by the neighbors occasionally. Bring a dessert.
94) Make Halloween a religious event again. Mock the evil spirits of our age. They have no power over the Christian who is in Christ. Celebrate this event.
95) Read about the saints. Tell their stories.
96) Talk to your guardian angel regularly. Ask him to send a cohort of angels and saints to be with you and others you want to help or protect.
97) Get a group of people to go out together singing Christmas carols.
98) Do Christmas “posada” processions.
99) Those times when you fail God, others, or yourself, pick yourself up and move The only way you can ultimately fail with God is to stop trying.
Another 99 Simple and Effective Ways to Evangelize as Catholics
1) Call your distant loved ones regularly.
2) Write letters to the editor promoting or defending your faith and the moral values the Church teaches.
3) Tell a friend you appreciate him or her.
4) Add, or join, a prayer chain in your faith community.
5) Start or assist with a parish newsletter. Let it set on your coffee table for visitors to read.
6) Work hard. Take pride in doing your work well.
7) Browse a Catholic bookstore.
8) Start a parish food pantry or collect food for families you know who are in need.
9) Teach your children to evangelize by taking them to a nursing home, assisting neighbors, etc.
10) Occasionally take your children with you to the adoration chapel, Stations of the Cross, Divine Mercy services.
11) Examine your conscience each evening before falling asleep.
12) Give God the glory when you succeed at something. It really does belong to Him.
13) Western culture has, in recent years, begun describing certain human persons by a reductionist reference to his or her sexual orientation. Resist this trend. A person is more than his or her sexual orientation.
14) Understand and proclaim that our sexuality is a gift given to us from God and is reserved for a man and woman who are joined in the covenant of marriage: "It is only within this covenant that the two inseparable ends of marriage can be achieved: the deepening of love between spouses and the procreation and education of children. Any genital act outside the covenant of marriage cannot fulfill this twofold purpose intended by the Creator and thus is morally wrong."
15) Stand for chastity. Whether married or single, chaste living means to avoid sexual activity that is contrary to morality or religious teachings.
16) Pray the rosary in the car while on a drive or trip. Let the children lead.
Some Fun Ways to Evangelize
Note: Unfortunately, due to liability concerns, most parishes will not undertake some of the suggestions mentioned below. But that does not mean families within parishes cannot get together and collectively make them happen. When the family stops taking these risks we are really in trouble as a culture.
Consider a Retreat