“I will make you fishers of men.” (Matt 4:19)

When the Apostles embarked on their mission to become “fishers of men,” they didn’t go unprepared.  They spent years learning from Jesus Christ and they were ultimately moved and guided by the Holy Spirit.  Yet, their journey started somewhere; it started with simple fishermen who probably knew a lot more about knots than they knew about theology.

No matter where we are in life, we can drop our nets and follow Jesus in His missionary work.  “The laborers, then, are called and sent forth into the vineyard at different hours, that is to say, one is led to a holy life during childhood, another in adolescence, another in adulthood and another in old age.” (Christifideles Laici, 45.1)  Our own failings do not keep us from His call nor does our weakness make us unworthy instruments in His hand.  Embracing the Love of God truly evokes a radical change and the Holy Spirit will move us to things greater than we could have imagined ourselves.  Even though God did not need us to work His plan, He loves us so greatly that He made us an integral part of His plan; it can’t be done without us! All it takes is our fiat, our willful acceptance of His Grace.

Accepting His call to be missionary disciples does not mean the same thing for every individual.   The lay faithful especially are called to live their faith in a wide array of  secular settings and in their ordinary positions.

“The ‘world’ thus becomes the place and the means for the lay faithful to fulfill their Christian vocation….they are not called to abandon the position that they have in the world…[and]are called by God so that they, led by the spirit of the Gospel, might contribute to the sanctification of the world, as from within like leaven, by fulfilling their own particular duties.  Thus, especially in this way of life, resplendent in faith, hope and charity they manifest Christ to others.” (Christifideles Laici, 15.8)

He calls us all to evangelize; how is He calling you?

Tools of Evangelization

“DIVINE RENOVATION”: 10 PARISH RENEWAL TIPS FOR BISHOPS

In our April 5, 2018, blog post, SPES took a first look at the “Divine Renovation” (DR) ministry headed by Rev. James Mallon, a priest of the Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth. This installment in our two-part report on DR taps into the numerous podcast episodes in which Fr. Mallon provides practical, step-by-step guidance to implement his […]

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Father John Riccardo’s Missionary Parish Maps a New Route Toward Encounters

  Shall we drive over to Our Lady of Good Counsel, the Plymouth, Michigan, parish where Catholic radio luminary Rev. John Riccardo is pastor? Fr. Riccardo, his pastoral team and their creative energy have made OLGC something of a destination parish, located not far from Ann Arbor and sharing in the Detroit archdiocese’s zeal for […]

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Football and the Gospel: Bruce Scifres and the Catholic Youth Organization

So, this Sunday is the Big Game. (Since the NFL likes to come down hard on those who do not pay to use the official name of their championship game, we will refer to it here as the Big Game. Or Superb Owl LII.) Parishes with Sunday evening Mass may want to think about moving […]

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