Bishop of Nottingham Malcolm McMahon, the prelate responsible for missions in England and Wales, recently urged parishes to make evangelization training a priority for 2009 and announced a new initiative toward that end.
“At this time of year many people make New Year’s resolutions. I encourage you to include ‘making time for evangelization training’ one of yours,” said Bishop McMahon, who chairs the Bishops’ Conference Department for Evangelization and Catechesis.
“To proclaim and share the faith is the reason that the Church exists - all of us, from the youngest to the oldest, lay, consecrated and ordained can play our part in home mission. Consider putting aside some time to learn how to evangelize more effectively; this is sure to bear fruit on many levels,” the bishop said.
The training initiative called “Fanning the Flames” is focused upon helping parishes establish Parish Evangelization Teams, a press release from Bishop McMahon’s office states. It is led jointly by the Catholic Agency to Support Evangelization (CASE) and Catholic Evangelization Services.
Monsignor Keith Barltrop, Director of CASE, explained the initiative tour:
“This tour provides us all with an opportunity to find out what Catholic Evangelization is all about and how to set up a parish team to animate it. The focus is practical and those who attend a day will receive information, resources and hopefully lots of inspiration. Everyone is welcome.”
Tour sponsors say that the initiative was inspired by St. Paul and is being launched during his Jubilee Year.
A press release from Bishop McMahon’s office quotes 2 Timothy 1: “That is why I am reminding you now to fan into a flame the gift that God gave you when I laid my hands on you. God's gift was not a spirit of timidity, but the Spirit of power, and love, and self-control. So you are never to be ashamed of witnessing to the Lord.”