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Posted By: BenjaminRH How does your parish evangelize? - 05/03/15 11:43 AM
Lack of evangelization seems to be an issue amongst all Catholic parishes, whether they are Ordinary Form, Extraordinary Form, Ordinariate, sui iuris Eastern Catholic. And I think that corresponds to declining Mass/Liturgy attendance.

Does your parish engage in any sort of evangelization work in your community?
Posted By: Lester S Re: How does your parish evangelize? - 05/03/15 08:13 PM
We don't go out, like the JW/LDS; and other communities who are rather direct about their evangelization. I dare say the only Catholic group who is remotely like that is the St. Paul Street Evangelization Group. I respect their efforts, though I disagree with their tactics, at times.

I think every parish has to take a look at their respective character/charisms, and see how those can help in such efforts. Everyone isn't built for a food festival type evangelization.

My respective communities (OCA, and BCC) are the types that aren't exactly direct. We're more intimate and word of mouth.

Looking solely at my OCA parish, we do offer enough services which could spark interest. We also have certain services where many are welcome to attend, like Agape Vespers (especially this, because of its shortness [not a thing in itself, but I think it could be a way to ease into things], and there's a barbeque to follow).

Simply inviting them (like our pastor does his students, at the local university where he teaches) will help, first and foremost.

I hope this makes sense.

LS
Posted By: Slavophile Re: How does your parish evangelize? - 05/08/15 05:31 AM
I hadn't heard of St Paul Street Evangelization Group. Thanks for the reference.

Evangelism is something I am thinking about very acutely right now, as I seek to move my mission parish from where it currently is (with a handful of families, a couple of university students, and frequent one-time visitors), to something substantial and long-term.

I will be watching this thread with interest, so beg other readers to contribute!
Posted By: BenjaminRH Re: How does your parish evangelize? - 05/11/15 06:55 PM
SPSE is a wonderful group! I thoroughly enjoy reading about their street evangelization efforts. How else is the Faith to grow?
Posted By: Lester S Re: How does your parish evangelize? - 05/12/15 10:11 PM
using whatever method fits the mind of a given parish community; every parish has a culture unique to itself. The SPSE may work better for some, not all. I've been in the trenches, with them; and their tactics do concern me.

I'm more of St. Seraphim's approach. If I am asked questions, I'll provide answers.
Posted By: BenjaminRH Re: How does your parish evangelize? - 05/13/15 08:00 AM
Lester, could you elaborate on those tactics? Thanks brother.
Posted By: Administrator Re: How does your parish evangelize? - 05/15/15 02:46 PM
I'm working from home today and just had two very nice young girls from South Korea knock on the door to tell me about Jesus and ask me to visit with their local church for a week long evening Bible study. Of course I invited them in and had a nice visit with them.

The girls were probably about 18 or 19 years old. They were sent by an international youth fellowship as missionaries to witness the Gospel to Americans (imitating the missionary journeys of the Apostle Paul). They will spend the summer visiting 8 major cities in the United States and Canada, and then spend a month in Haiti.

Their English was fair to awful. Their understanding of the Christian basics was fairly non-existent (even from their "non-denominational" perspective). Curiously enough, their first quote from Scripture was 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. It's certainly true, but probably not the one I would lead with. The few other Scripture quotes they offered were also rather strangely chosen. Yet I admire them greatly for their willingness to travel to a country that is foreign to them and to knock on doors to bring the Good News to as many people as they can.

It would be an interesting (and possibly useful) discussion to explore why some Protestant Christians are willing to travel halfway across the world and go door to door to witness Christ, and why some such churches can get a sizable percentage of their people to turn out for a Wednesday night Bible study. I have several friends who are active in adult education (BC, RC, Orth) and they tell me how difficult it is to get a dozen people to turn up for a weekly Bible study / adult education in a parishes ranging from 250 to 15,000 people. Some say it because they have only the Bible and we have the Eucharist (and so much more) but that seems to be a cop out explanation.
Posted By: Lester S Re: How does your parish evangelize? - 05/19/15 12:04 AM
Sharing is a personal skill, in that everyone has their personal gifts the ability to share. Not everyone will share things effectively, with identical methods, and expressions. I'm very indirect; and will try to show it in my character. I'll bring my little icon to work; and put it against my monitor. I'll cross myself, on occasion. I don't really care what others think of me; I try to be respectful, not pushy in anyway. If asked a question, I'll answer it.

I think honesty is important, particularly with expectations. I'm not one to use snake oil, as much as possible. I had been part of a Buddhist cult for a few months, and the expectation was sort of unrealistic, as if were to receive a tangible blessing every week. God doesn't work that way - chant for x amount of hours, received y amount of blessings..

We have to keep things simple, too. We have to go the heart of the Gospel, take joy in it; and spread it. It's made tougher because you have fringe groups already out there on the streets pressing this or that gospel. This whole notion of Jesus dying for our sins is being treated as a once and for all deal, in that Jesus hasn't a stake in the present time, and world.


You can scream from the mountain tops, all you want. You can show your character transformation, or whatever progress made in that department, but it doesn't matter if their hearts aren't moved. If they want it, they'll come.
Some would say that the UGCC is "insular" because of its focus on Ukrainians etc.

However, the field of evangelization for the UGCC is quite wide with respect to, for example, the new immigrants from Ukraine.

A number of these are "unchurched." Having grown up under the Soviet Russian system, their Christian moral sense often creates serious pastoral problems. The idea of them having a family in Ukraine or elsewhere in Eastern Europe and then "shacking up" with another person here is something they have a great deal of difficulty understanding. Priests will encourage them to come to confession where they will admonish them, but they won't give absolution until they promise to separate from their live-ins.

Our priests have their work cut out for them.

Alex
Posted By: jova Re: How does your parish evangelize? - 06/03/15 01:32 PM
I also belong to an ethnic Catholic parish, it seems by word of mouth. Several parishioners are involved with the local higher education campuses, and they invite students of their ethnicity. I have invited lapsed Catholics and Christian friends. They seem equally confused about Eastern Catholicism.

You could just tell them that Eastern Catholics are like them, ethnic Catholics, except that their ethnicity really spills over into their liturgical celebrations in a much greater way . . .

Alex
Posted By: Ray S. Re: How does your parish evangelize? - 07/10/15 10:40 AM
I have never heard of a Catholic Church both East or West Evangelize. Only recently, driving along the east coast I saw a sign out from a Roman Catholic Church from "Catholics Come Home". As far as Eastern Catholic Churches I have never heard of any evangelizing programs ever.

I brought the issue up a few times and was told the Eastern Church canonically can't evangelize in the United States or something to that effect. Quite a shame since the most if not all Eastern Churches will be closed in about 20 years. I am hoping we will set aside funding for a museum so people can know that we existed once.
Posted By: Michael_Thoma Re: How does your parish evangelize? - 07/10/15 10:46 AM
Originally Posted by Ray S.
I brought the issue up a few times and was told the Eastern Church canonically can't evangelize in the United States or something to that effect. Quite a shame since the most if not all Eastern Churches will be closed in about 20 years. I am hoping we will set aside funding for a museum so people can know that we existed once.
This is patently untrue. Eastern Catholics are only not to 'evangelize' practicing Romans. Everyone else is fair game - without proselytizing. Our first method of evangelization is our authentic and full Liturgy - this I have only seen rarely and those rare parishes thrive. The latinized others keep losing members and only have gray hairs and recent immigrants in attendance.
Posted By: GoingByzantine Re: How does your parish evangelize? - 07/20/15 08:53 PM
I can't help but wonder why we don't go door to door, passing out fliers and inviting people to church. Networking seems to be how evangelical protestants reach the most people.
Posted By: Ray S. Re: How does your parish evangelize? - 07/26/15 06:57 PM
That wouldn't be the Catholic way. You know we go to liturgy don't talk to anyone and try to be the first ones to leave on the way out. We leave our $1 dollar in the collection basket and feel good about ourselves.

Going door to door? It will never happen. If you wanted to do it which one of our 80 year old priests with artificial hips will go with us?
Posted By: Messdiener Re: How does your parish evangelize? - 07/26/15 11:47 PM
Originally Posted by Michael_Thoma
Originally Posted by Ray S.
I brought the issue up a few times and was told the Eastern Church canonically can't evangelize in the United States or something to that effect. Quite a shame since the most if not all Eastern Churches will be closed in about 20 years. I am hoping we will set aside funding for a museum so people can know that we existed once.
This is patently untrue. Eastern Catholics are only not to 'evangelize' practicing Romans. Everyone else is fair game - without proselytizing. Our first method of evangelization is our authentic and full Liturgy - this I have only seen rarely and those rare parishes thrive. The latinized others keep losing members and only have gray hairs and recent immigrants in attendance.


What are the exact prohibitions against evangelizing amongst the Latins? wink
Posted By: Lester S Re: How does your parish evangelize? - 07/27/15 07:47 PM
worried about the practice of poaching. Yet, the irony is, as was brought up from posts moons ago, there were often stipulations provided for Eastern Catholic children enrolling in Roman Catholic schools. Like, I noticed a family (UGCC) where the eldest daughter received her first communion, at a Roman parish. Not my business, just an observation. I also observed prior to this: she had just received a blessing, not communion.
Posted By: Peter J Re: How does your parish evangelize? - 01/30/16 03:19 PM
Originally Posted by Lester S
I'm more of St. Seraphim's approach. If I am asked questions, I'll provide answers.
My 2 cents: when I hear "How does your parish evangelize?" and similar questions, "evangelize" doesn't seem to be the right word to put there. I don't have another word in mind to substitute, but as I say it just doesn't sound quite right.
Posted By: Paul B Re: How does your parish evangelize? - 01/30/16 03:50 PM
What are the exact prohibitions against evangelizing amongst the Latins?

ANSWER: It is just as belligerent as a Latin trying to evangelize eastern Catholics/Orthodox.
Posted By: dochawk Re: How does your parish evangelize? - 02/04/16 08:49 PM
There's no reason to evangelize Latins.

If they come to a liturgy, they either are amazed and return, or they prefer to stay.

The sheer welcoming warmth in every (ruthenian) BC parish I've ever encountered draws people in.

hawk
Posted By: bkovacs Re: How does your parish evangelize? - 03/10/16 01:08 AM
Bingo, food sales, and Latin practices. Nothing more. Browse through both websites to contrast the differences. Both churches are less than 10 miles apart.
UGCC
http://www.presentationukrainiancc.com

Antiochian Orthodox Church
http://stpocspa.orthodoxws.com
Originally Posted by bkovacs
Bingo, food sales, and Latin practices. Nothing more. Browse through both websites to contrast the differences. Both churches are less than 10 miles apart.
UGCC
http://www.presentationukrainiancc.com

Antiochian Orthodox Church
http://stpocspa.orthodoxws.com


Not a fair or meaningful comparison. The first church is of Ukrainian ethnic background, coming from a region that was historically in intimate contact with Latin traditions (as part of the Polish commonwealth).

The other is a parish of mixed Arab immigrant/ evangelical convert background.

To force the Ukrainian parish to look like the Antiochian one would be a shame.
Posted By: bkovacs Re: How does your parish evangelize? - 03/10/16 11:52 AM
What did Vatican 2 state about Eastern Catholics and Latin traditions?. Also I agree that they shouldn't look the same. But you will see much more activities for those who want to learn and live out the Byzantine traditions in the local Orthodox Church. The UGCC website is not updated every week as it should be. St. Phillips is always updated every week. Can you tell me if there is a Pre-Sanctified Liturgy this week 3/6 thru 3/12. I can't!. Bulletin hasn't been updated!. Does the UGCC have any Lenten programs apart from the Pre-Sanctified Liturgy. Are there any speakers who come and discuss various aspects of the Byzantine tradition. even discuss the up and coming UGCC Catechism. The only activities a UGCC has in this parish, is Bingo and Food sales. At the local Orthodox Church there are many activities. Just look at their calendar. Retreats, Lenten programs, Vespers, Matins, speakers, choir, etcc. The local UGCC has no choir, not even a cantor. Very rarely is incense even used in the Liturgy. Would they rather be a Latin Catholic parish??. With Stations of the Cross, Rosary, etcc.???. Does the local Latin parishes offer Akathists services and Paraklesis services. No!!. So why do Byzantine parishes offer Latin traditions, Vatican 2 dictated to go back to being fully Byzantine!.
Posted By: bkovacs Re: How does your parish evangelize? - 03/10/16 11:57 AM
So yes it is very fair. It shows that this local Orthodox parish offers much more, in terms of the expression of the Byzantine faith, for the Byzantine Christian, Catholic/Orthodox, than the local UGCC has to offer.
If your point is solely about level of activity, updates, bulletins, number of services, etc. then plenty of Orthodox parishes are struggling too. It's got nothing to do with Latinization or lack thereof.
Posted By: bkovacs Re: How does your parish evangelize? - 03/11/16 10:34 AM
Another local Orthodox parish. No Greek (Ruthenian, UGCC) Catholic parishes in the area come close to the level of activities as well as membership count. I guess the Orthodox must be doing something right. They are staying firm to their traditions, unlike most Greek Catholic priests who want to kiss up to Rome and it's practices.
Posted By: bkovacs Re: How does your parish evangelize? - 03/11/16 10:43 AM
Sorry but you will always get my criticism until things change. and Eastern Catholics are FULLY Eastern!. Completely 100% De-Latinized. I wonder how many Ruthenian and UGCC Catholic parishes will be forced to close when the 60 and over crowd are dead and gone?. The Bishops won't know how to shepherd a younger crowd, if there are any. They will probably just imitate their Latin brothers and try to be hip, by taking away more of the Byzantine traditions. Sorry but I'm not one bit to happy with anything "Catholic", with a capitol "C", these days.
Posted By: bkovacs Re: How does your parish evangelize? - 03/11/16 10:44 AM
Originally Posted by bkovacs
Another local Orthodox parish. No Greek (Ruthenian, UGCC) Catholic parishes in the area come close to the level of activities as well as membership count. I guess the Orthodox must be doing something right. They are staying firm to their traditions, unlike most Greek Catholic priests who want to kiss up to Rome and it's practices.


http://www.stnicholasoca.org

OCA
Originally Posted by bkovacs
Sorry but you will always get my criticism until things change. and Eastern Catholics are FULLY Eastern!. Completely 100% De-Latinized.


There is no such thing as "fully Eastern." Do you seriously expect a Ruthenian-American parish in southeastern PA ca 2016 to look like a parish in 14th century Constantinople?

Why should the parishioners Byzantinize everything if that isn't part of their received religious culture?

Keeping a thriving parish and retaining young people is a problem for many Eastern Catholic parishes, no doubt. "De-latinizing" isn't going to fix it. You are cherry picking thriving Orthodox parishes as if all the Orthodox parishes are like that.
Posted By: Francois Re: How does your parish evangelize? - 03/24/16 11:36 AM
This is a very legitimate question. Still trying to figure out how my parish evangelize...
Posted By: Pavloosh Re: How does your parish evangelize? - 03/24/16 01:18 PM
Have you tried decaf? LOL
Calm down already - you'll have a stroke if you're not careful.
Posted By: Peter J Re: How does your parish evangelize? - 04/14/16 08:18 PM
Originally Posted by bkovacs
Sorry but you will always get my criticism until things change. and Eastern Catholics are FULLY Eastern!. Completely 100% De-Latinized.
Zero-tolerance policies tend to sound great, but it can get a bit difficult when somebody asks what exactly it means.
Posted By: dochawk Re: How does your parish evangelize? - 04/17/16 12:25 PM
Originally Posted by bkovacs
Sorry but you will always get my criticism until things change. and Eastern Catholics are FULLY Eastern!. Completely 100% De-Latinized.

100% would seem to require elimination of that pre-consecrated liturgy written by a certain Bishop of Rome . . .

hawk
Posted By: PlymouthFossil Re: How does your parish evangelize? - 06/01/16 11:36 PM
I have just read all 3 pages of this topic, and each has its merit on HOW TO EVANGELIZE OR MAKE OTHERS AWARE OF OUR EXISTENCE.
As I mentioned in another thread, you have to really want to let others know, what is really special about being Eastern Catholic(in my case, Ruthenian). I read not long ago that only 7% of Catholic's go to church every Sunday. Some may be bored, or lost interest in church, etc. Lets try to get those that have fallen away and get them to experience the BEST KEPT SECRET OF CATHOLICISM. It can be done and don't give up. Our Lord wants you to use what HE gave you.
Posted By: PlymouthFossil Re: How does your parish evangelize? - 06/25/16 10:13 PM

Could evangelization be part of education of the Latin Rite? Think of the various Roman Catholic's who may have dropped from church attendance. Think of many Roman Catholic's who know little about the Byzantine Catholics or even other Rite's of the Catholic church. Myself & a few parishioners have set up a table in a Roman Catholic festival, and were there to educate--anyone, about the Eastern Lung of the Catholic Church( evangelize) with handouts and conversation. It can be done, but requires time and dedication.
Posted By: PlymouthFossil Re: How does your parish evangelize? - 07/13/16 08:35 PM
I have read previous that Eastern Catholic;s should stay away from Evangelizing Roman Catholic;s. If you want to educate anybody about, the Eastern Lung, and many are completely unaware of others in the Catholic faith, If their faith is weak, and they find that they prefer Eastern Catholicism--what is wrong with that??
Posted By: Administrator Re: How does your parish evangelize? - 07/14/16 08:03 AM
Originally Posted by PlymouthFossil
I have read previous that Eastern Catholic;s should stay away from Evangelizing Roman Catholic;s. If you want to educate anybody about, the Eastern Lung, and many are completely unaware of others in the Catholic faith, If their faith is weak, and they find that they prefer Eastern Catholicism--what is wrong with that??
Perspective is needed. Evangelization is about bringing those who do not know Christ into a saving relationship with Him. We do not spread the good news of the Eastern Church itself. We spread the Good News of Jesus Christ utilizing the Eastern approach to worshiping Father, Son and Spirit. Activities like educating Roman Catholics (and others) about 'who we are' are laudable and useful. But the goal must never to bring them from Roman Catholicism into Byzantine Catholicism. [Yes, invite the unchurched, but don't steal the sheep who are happy with their current parish.]

It's been my long stated opinion that the ability for a parish to evangelize flows directly from a proper celebration of the Divine Liturgy and other services. If your evangelization effort results in someone visiting your parish the liturgical life there must not chase them away.
Posted By: PlymouthFossil Re: How does your parish evangelize? - 07/14/16 05:09 PM
If those who know Christ, have fallen away from HIS teaching or have fallen away from church attendance, then if we try to reach them, to return--that to me is evangelization. If I want to take the time to try to reach them, and if I happen to be Eastern Catholic and they might be Roman Catholic, and they are confused, if I am Catholic, and I explain it to them, then they might return to CHURCH, So this is an answer to the ADMINISTRATOR,
Posted By: Maronita Re: How does your parish evangelize? - 08/21/16 02:16 AM
Can anyone recommend how to convince our pastors to evangelize like the JW's? A few years ago I was involved in such an evangelization in Rhode Island with the RC Church!
Posted By: Lester S Re: How does your parish evangelize? - 08/21/16 10:58 AM
Uh, no. I'd rather be a witness in the way I live, and share the Gospel, using words when necessary.
Posted By: seraphim09 Re: How does your parish evangelize? - 06/08/17 04:24 AM
Originally Posted by dochawk
There's no reason to evangelize Latins.

If they come to a liturgy, they either are amazed and return, or they prefer to stay.

The sheer welcoming warmth in every (ruthenian) BC parish I've ever encountered draws people in.

hawk


Indeed. All Catholics, Latin and Eastern, should be working together to evangelize the world, to bring people to Jesus Christ and to the Holy Catholic Church He created. We should not be competing with each other. Bringing back those who have fallen away from the Church, yes. But poaching from each other, no.

Educating Latins on the Eastern Catholics, yes. But I do not consider those activities to be "evanvelizing". I consider that insulting, considering we already share the same faith.
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