New committee provides opportunities for faith formation
By Brian J. Lowney

.- A new advisory committee has been formed to continue evangelization efforts throughout the Diocese of Providence, R.I. and strengthen the faith of active Catholics by providing increased opportunities for faith formation and spirituality.

The committee will build upon the “New Evangelization” popularized by Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI challenging Catholics to “proclaim Christ to all people.”

The Diocesan Evangelization Committee, led by Msgr. Jacques L. Plante, director for Evangelization and Pastoral Planning, was established to build upon the accomplishments of the Diocesan Year of Evangelization Preparatory Committee, which conducted the “Catholics Come Home” program with faith formation classes, parish evangelization initiatives and other events held throughout the diocese

“We have so many Catholics who don’t know their faith,” said Msgr. Plante, adding that for those who live in Western countries, “religion has become something somewhat private” and faith is seldom shared or discussed in public.

“In the United States, it’s just about forbidden,” he added. “The goal of this committee is to help parishes and Catholics see that evangelization is the work of the entire church.”

Emphasizing that “society no longer supports our faith,” Msgr. Plante said many children only attend religious education classes to receive first Communion and confirmation, and do not attend Mass at other times.

“Kids do not learn about Jesus Christ in public schools,” he said. “They learn about Roger Williams but not that he was moved by faith.”

Msgr. Plante said the committee will be discussing ways to strengthen parish religious education programs for younger students, developing new opportunities for adult education and individuals who have completed the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults as they continue their faith journey. The committee will also assist parishes in conducting Day of Evangelization programs, similar to those that have already been conducted in several diocesan parishes.

“We want to incultrate a sense of Catholic life,” Msgr. Plante emphasized, adding that Catholics should integrate their faith into every aspect of their lives and just not be attentive to God for an hour a week at Mass.

Noting that Pope Benedict XVI has chosen “new evangelization” as the theme for the 2012 Synod of Bishops that will take place on the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, Msgr. Plante emphasized the importance of the new diocesan committee.

“The world would like us to be quiet about our faith,” he said. “The reality is that we have something good to share.”

Dr. Aurelie Hagstrom, chair of the theology department at Providence College and a member of the Diocesan Evangelization Committee, said that one of the committee’s objectives is to help Catholics become aware that evangelization is everyone’s mission and just not the responsibility of the church hierarchy.

Hagstrom emphasized the vital role that the laity plays in the church.

“It’s one of the best kept secrets in the church that the laity has both a vocation and a mission,” she noted, adding that the work of the committee will help renew the call for lay participation and evangelization.

“This is not a one year campaign,” Hagstrom continued. She said while Catholics Come Home and other programs conducted during the Year of Evangelization “were a way to reignite the flame,” evangelization is an ongoing process that never ends.

David Gillis, a parishioner of St. Joseph Church, Providence, where he co-chairs the parish’s evangelization program, said that he was “incredibly honored and excited to serve” on the new diocesan committee.

Gillis added that especially in our troubled and secular world, Catholics need to “quietly and practically “ live their faith and live according to the Gospel message.

“This is something that we have to do,” Gillis stated. “This world needs God and we as Catholics need to show that … and that he can turn people’s lives around.”

Printed with permission from the Rhode Island Catholic, newspaper for the Diocese of Providence.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 21, 2014

Monday within the Octave of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:8-15


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Acts 2:14, 22-33
Gospel:: Mt 28:8-15

Saint of the Day

Holy Thursday »


Homily of the Day

Mt 28:8-15


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: