At one time, the words “New Evangelization” created a fear in me that one day I would have to actually talk about Jesus Christ to another individual, or, God forbid, I would have to stand in front of a group and “proclaim the good news!”
The words “New Evangelization” are spoken regularly in the Church today. But, do people know what these words mean? In my opinion, there does not seem to be clear definitions or evidences of what evangelization really means to the average lay person. I can now say in my life that I have a clear understanding of what the New Evangelization is and how it can transform our Catholic culture to finally bring people to realize what Jesus is all about. How did I get there? I had a tangible experience of the New Evangelization through a program called ChristLife.
ChristLife is an evangelization program. It consists of three courses, Discovering, Following and Sharing Christ. It helps people enter into a personal relationship with Jesus. Yet, when I first heard these words, I shuttered away from the program. I thought it was something that would force me to face my fears about evangelization and really have to stand up for what was so ingrained in my heart – the love of Jesus Christ that I knew, but was afraid to show, admit or bring to others.
As much as I was avoiding evangelization, God had other plans and I attended a Discovering Christ Conference in September 2013, “just to see what it was all about”. The rest is history! Within an hour into the conference, I knew that ChristLife was something I needed to be a part of, to learn about, and, to bring to others in my parish. Wow, could this actually mean that this is what evangelization is all about? But it got better…what I learned was that ChristLife is a program to help people go deeper in their faith, no matter where an individual is on his or her faith journey. It is foundational, welcoming, energizing and natural. It does not force, and is subtle in the approach.
I became a member of the ChristLife leadership team in my parish at St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Virgin in Whitehall PA. We launched the Discovering Christ course during Lent of 2014 and we continued the program by offering the Following Christ and Sharing Christ courses later in the fall. I witnessed the power of the Holy Spirit in others as they got to know Jesus, to love Him and to help them grow in faith. On a personal level, it was transformational for me as well as I participated in the program with my fellow parishioners even though I was helping to lead the course. But, it does not stop there. Participating in ChristLife makes you realize that you want to share the experience with others.
On June 12 and 13, 2015, Catholic Men’s Fellowship is sponsoring a Discovering Christ Conference. The details and registration can be found by clicking here. Take the opportunity to be transformed in faith by allowing yourself to attend the conference. You will not be disappointed and I know that you will change your thinking about Jesus. He is waiting for you!