|Evangelisation – a new way ahead - Oct 23|
|2011 - Features|
|Friday, 21 October 2011 12:05|
On September 10, 88 volunteers of the Evangelisation Commission gathered under a marquee in the grounds of the Catholic Centre, Chaguanas for a Day of Re-focussing and Envisioning.
Before guests entered the marquee through a ballooned entrance they were given “goodie” bags by Marcelle Cromwell and Cheridan Woodfruffe although no one recognised either of them until later in the morning. The goodies became an integral part of the day – the pads for note-taking, the whistles for agreement and the sweets for illustrating the giving of ourselves to others.
The Vicar for Evangelisation Fr Robert Christo welcomed each guest as they arrived by pinning on their feather name-tag, orange for ladies and blue for the gentlemen. There was a great deal of fun and laughter during the day when “old friends” came together to discuss, under the guidance of Fr Robert, the serious issue of Evangelisation - A New Way Ahead. After bringing guests up to speed on what was happening in the Commission, Fr Robert shared the Commission’s vision for the future and how people can become involved in both their parishes and the Commission.
One of the goals of the Commission is to ensure that there is an Evangelisation Team in every parish. The question “Who needs to be evangelised?’ produces answers including the young, the alienated, those without faith, the un-churched, the de-churched, those on the fringes and the core die-hards. To evangelise we must be able to share our faith, give personal witness, preach if necessary, nurture and extend invitations in order that people have a sense of belonging. In being part of an Evangelisation Team one has to ask oneself “Am I active?” “Am I a catechist, an Apologist?” and “Am I hospitable?” It is the duty of every Catholic to evangelise – “For disciples of Christ the duty to evangelise is an obligation of love” (Blessed John Paul II) Parish community will be the centre of New Evangelisation which involves building a community of friendship, evangelisation transforms society, lives, relationships and inner culture.
In addition to Evangelisation teams in parishes, the Commission has developed a RECALL programme which will involve parents and godparents of newly baptised babies, parents of children making their First Holy Communion and parents of Confirmation candidates. Once parents are involved they will be introduced to the ALPHA programme, progressing to Catholicism 201 and Eucharist 301 by which time it is hoped they will be involved in ministry in their parishes. Training for the various programmes will be offered initially at Vicariate level.
A further vision of the Commission is to set up a Catholic Enquiry Office that will supply information about the Catholic faith. Tracts will be available for those who wish to learn more in addition to which, it is hoped that tracts chosen by the Commission will be available in all parishes. “Catholic in the Workplace” which was the brainchild of amongst others, Bishop Jason Gordon and Dr Ruby Alleyne will now come under the Evangelisation Commission. Catholics in their working environment will be able to access various activities including Mass, praying of the Rosary, prayer sessions and discussions being streamed live.
After a lunch where conversation was lively and happily noisy, Fr Robert put everyone into groups for a breakout session. The feedback was positive with everyone agreeing that they now understood and had a clearer idea of what “New Evangelisation’ was all about and how exciting it was to be part of an organisation that is most definitely on the move.
The day was so exciting that it seemed that no one wanted to go home and Mass under the marquee started much later than planned although nobody seemed to mind. GRACE Music Ministry provided the music for the celebration of Holy Mass as well as for the Praise and Worship during the day and sincere thanks go to them for their usual vibrancy.
As people waved their goodbyes the general opinion was that apart from learning so much more and having had such a fantastic day in the process, most felt it was like “family coming back home”.
Fr Robert Christo and the staff at the Evangelisation Commission would like to thank everyone for coming out and supporting us. We look forward to working with you all in the very, very near future. In the meantime please visit our Evangelisation Commission Facebook page and feel free to post. Many, many thanks to each and every one of you. BML, Evangelisation Commission
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