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paromer Offline OP
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In another thread we have discussed the loss of parisioners in the U.S. Ukrainian and Ruthenian Churches.

Dragani posted a plan to evangelize each parish. What do you think could be done to bring in the lost sheep?

Paul

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paromer Offline OP
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Dear Friends,

Of course I have ideas. If I cross over to the Roman side please tell me.

The local Byzantine Catholic parish had a Divine Liturgy outdoors at a city park. I think taking the liturgy to the street might stimulate interest in Eastern Christianity.

Outdoor processions also make the church visable to others.

Schedule a Divine Liturgy at select RC parishes.

Just brainstorming.

Paul

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Many of your ideas, paromer, seem to be reaching to RC's. Are you assuming a number of them are actually Easterners that are not attended their local Byzantine parish? Just wondering.

One idea that could be helpful is to attempt to partner with local Roman Catholic parishes. Many RC parishes have set up formal evangelization ministries, and all have an RCIA program. Try to get the RCIA class (and anyone else interested) to be invited to Divine Liturgy and a brief question and answer session with the pastor. If a RC parish already has an evangelization committee, ask to be part of it with the understanding that any potential convert be given the choice of which church to choose - Roman or Byzantine (assuming they don't have some connection to one Church already). Of course, I realize that each RC parish will recieve these ideas with different degrees of receptivity - some will see it as competition and resist the idea.

Ultimately, I think that Eastern Catholics need to do the same things that any parish must do. They must reach out to the hurting and needy people out there and offer them the Way, the Truth and the Life. This can include door-to-door evangelization, public advertisements, social concerns work that impacts the community, etc. Even something as benign as sponsoring a local softball team can let people know that you exist, and someone could end up remembering that in a time of religious searching. The key is that people need to see why attending a particular parish will bring them a more fulfilling life in Christ. If a parish hides their light under the bushel basket, how will anyone know to come?

Also, I liked Dragani's ideas very much.

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Condition for successful evangelism: one must realize that it is impossible always to breathe out and never breathe in. Start some real monasteries and don't bother to advertise them - if they are real, people will find them!
Christ is Risen!
Incognitus

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paromer Offline OP
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Quote
Originally posted by francis:
Many of your ideas, paromer, seem to be reaching to RC's. Are you assuming a number of them are actually Easterners that are not attended their local Byzantine parish? Just wondering.

________________________________________________

All of the above. All are welcome. All are free to choose the church of their choice.
________________________________________________

Originally posted by francis:
Even something as benign as sponsoring a local softball team can let people know that you exist,

______________________________________________
I really like that one. What do you Easterners think?

I remember someone posting that a Roman parish RCIA program took the group to a Eastern Catholic Church. I don't remember if the group attended Divine Liturgy or not.

I agree with you that serving the community is important. Visibility is important. You said it well, "If a parish hides their light under the bushel basket, how will anyone know to come?"

Paul

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paromer Offline OP
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Incognitus,

Truly He is risen!

Sounds like you want the Holy Spirit to get involved in evangelization. cool Monastaries are a good source of spiritual power.

Paul

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10 Evangelization methods:
1. TV: �..get your own local broadcast�.cable access is how Mother Angelica of EWTN got started in her convents garage!
2. RADIO: Get your own Sunday talk show on your local AM stations. They look for Sunday fillers and are reasonable.
3. PRINT: Announce everything from pancake breakfasts to someone having an anniversary. There�s no such thing as bad publicity��for the most part.
4. NEIGHBORHOOD OUTREACH: Invite through letters of invitation or signs all neighbors to �come and see� and experience our church.
5. SEMINARS: advertise them on Byzantine Spirituality using your local Kof C, or other clubs.
6. INVITE: Through talks on the Eastern Church, invite local Roman Catholics to come.
7. MAKE IT EXCITING/WORTHWILE: We live in a world that looks for excitement. People in your parish excited about their faith can excite others. Sometimes people make better evangelists than priests. People think priests are just towing the �party line� but are more interested in what our faith does for the average Joe.
8. DON�T LEAVE IT UP TO YOUR PRIEST: You are the parish. If the priest has to beg and plead for members to get involved in parish growth through evangelization, then you don�t deserve a parish or a priest.
9. BE PERSISTENT: You may get 2 people for your parish outreach afternoon. So what. They may come on Sunday, or you may never see them again. You plant the seed. The Lord makes it grow in His own good time.
10. BE PERSISTENT: I just wanted to say it twice.

Just some ideas I pose to our faithful parish members. My parish and I have, and are doing all of the above.
Remember the parable of the Great Banquet? Don�t think you need to grow by bringing back disgruntled Byzantines, or disenfranchised Roman Catholics. I just had a family leave us in a heartbeat, because the Roman Catholic Church in their area started having the Traditional Latin Mass. So much for new loyalty.
Go out and fill your house with those who were not invited. You�ll be better off in the long run.

Fr. Michael Sopoliga


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paromer Offline OP
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Dear Father Michael,

I like what you are doing!

I would add that you arrange seminars at RC, Episcopal, Lutheran churches, etc. Take the East to them.

The idea is not to recruit them for your church (you know that already). Just get them breathing on both lungs.

Invitation is important. So is outreach. The church is commanded to go to the lost. The lost aren't commanded to go to church. This is said among Evangelical Protestants.

God bless you and your ministry.

Paul

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Dear Paul,
I agree that we should go to "them."
I never turn down giving a talk for any Roman Catholic organization or occasion, especially talks at Catholic schools.

I have a family in my parish whose father was Byzantine Catholic from Allentown, PA, and only found our church, after a long absence.

(One reason for his attending a RC Church was that he would have to pay extra for their education! When the father said to me that the principal said that "they would have to pay the non-Catholic rate if they belonged to our church, I wrote to the Bishop in Palm Beach. He responded strongly and positively, and they did not have to pay the non Catholic rate, but we did not have any money to "subsidize" the kids as did the RC parishes. The proverbial catch 22!)

His two kids, after only a few months, love our church! One serves, the older reads, and I have the suspicion that the older might just have a vocation. I just have that feeling.

But back to evangelization, what better place to explain our Byzantine Church than in.............a Byzantine Church?
A feast for the eyes and then some.
The operative word: Evangelize!
God bless you too!

Fr. Michael


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paromer Offline OP
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Quote
Originally posted by FrMichaelJS:
Dear Paul,
I agree that we should go to "them."
I never turn down giving a talk for any Roman Catholic organization or occasion, especially talks at Catholic schools...

...But back to evangelization, what better place to explain our Byzantine Church than in.............a Byzantine Church?
A feast for the eyes and then some.
The operative word: Evangelize!
God bless you too!

Fr. Michael
Dear Fr Michael,

That's great that you venture into the Roman arena! We need you. smile

I wish that an Eastern Church priest would give a mission, a seminar, etc. at my Latin parish.

I agree that a visit to a Byzantine Church is the best way to learn about the Eastern tradition (I'm an example of that), but most RC's I know won't visit a Byzantine Church unless it came about because of a wedding or funeral.

Of course, donuts are known to attract even a hardened sinner. biggrin

Christ is our peace,

Paul

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Paul,

A good cup of java & a dunkin donut works for me, of course with a good discussion on the Eastern way !

james

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Christ IS Risen!!!

Dear Francis,

your post... "One idea that could be helpful is to attempt to partner with local Roman Catholic parishes. Many RC parishes have set up formal evangelization ministries, and all have an RCIA program. Try to get the RCIA class (and anyone else interested) to be invited to Divine Liturgy and a brief question and answer session with the pastor. If a RC parish already has an evangelization committee, ask to be part of it with the understanding that any potential convert be given the choice of which church to choose - Roman or Byzantine (assuming they don't have some connection to one Church already). Of course, I realize that each RC parish will recieve these ideas with different degrees of receptivity - some will see it as competition and resist the idea."


Our local RC Cathedral RCIA actually does a once a year 'field trip' to an EC church (usually to St. John Maron - Maronite parish). The RCIA dir. has actually 'lost' two candidates/catechumens to EC - that I know of anyway. I was one of them. cool Though I was a baptized RC as a baby... the ByzZZy seeds were well rooted in my heart prior to ME being confirmed&communed RC three or four years ago at the RC Cathedral...get this... ON THE FEAST OF ST. GEORGE no less!!! see it was kinda' only a matter of time that I came to EC. - which is another story - part of it goes something like this... My friend Shoshana and I were at Congress (RC teachers annual seminars doo dad at the convention center) one year and I was speaking with Fr. Groschel telling him of my heart felt pull to EC... sitting on the fence... hemming and hawing - etc... He listened to me patiently and spoke to me beautifully... and so here I am - EC!!

Well EC but no transf. paperwork at this time, so technically am still RC - I know it's NoT necessary to do formal paperwork to switch rites unless holy orders, or something to that effect. But, I may get around to it someday - afterall... I am Michelle's ((yes our biggrin lil' reznut)) God mother. She doesn't mind being an EC with a 'RC' Godmother though. And currently there is no pressing situation in my life that dictates the necessity of a formal switch.

anyway back to your post......

the survey says...
I lOVe your idea.
cool

toodles & God bless, sUSAn

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paromer Offline OP
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Dear susie.freckle.face,

Truly, He is risen!

Great member name! You will be a gifted evangelist. RC/BC for JC and the BVM. wink

Peace and joy be with you,

Paul
RC in the far east of the Eparchy of Van Nuys

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paromer Offline OP
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Friends,

There have been some good evangelization methods posted on this thread.

Jesus said those wise in the kingdom of God will draw from their store house the "old and the new" (paraphrase). What do the Eastern Fathers have to say about evangelization?

Paul

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Quote
Originally posted by paromer:
What do you think could be done to bring in the lost sheep?
Undo 100+ years of people, parents and clergy, telling/convincing them that they were/are Catholic first, Byzantine second as though they were both dualist entities, whereby 'Catholicism' (or their idea of it) is good or better and 'Byzantine' is bad or disposable.

Joe

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