At a recent reunion I learned that a classmate from the Catholic school I attended had become a Jehovah’s Witness. Two people came knocking on her door, and she listened to them. Her conversion raised two questions for me: 1) How could she give up the beliefs, the rich traditions, and sacramental benefits of the Catholic faith so easily? I’m wondering if maybe she didn’t really know what she was giving up. Arguably there now are two generations of theologically illiterate Catholics. Did you hear that in the United States after Catholics the next largest “denomination” is Catholics who have left the faith? My other question was 2) How can we be more proactive in evangelizing, that is, presenting to others what we believe? We don’t go door-to-door to share our faith. But we can try not to be tongue-tied when it comes to speaking about it and stumped when someone asks a question about it.
Last year the pope established a Pontifical Council for New Evangelization. The Church is called to a new evangelization to counteract the secularism of today’s world. This year I’m called upon to speak about it at a diocesan conference—in particular to describe tools for evangelization and to inspire people to go out and do it. I plan to say that one of the best ways to evangelize is to really live the faith yourself. I will also mention that we need to make use of the social media. And I will mention the Paullist Evangelization Ministries that offers a wealth of material (www.pemdc.org). Any other ideas as to what I could say?