Evangelization

Lwanga honoree: Youth ministry is about taking the ‘ink off paper and making it walk’

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Corliss Cox knows what it's like to do youth ministry with no money and no plan — and nothing but an intense trust in God and the ability to step out in faith.

Those were the early days of youth ministry for Cox, who was invited to work with the Ujima Youth Program, which became part of the Catholic Youth Council in the mid-1980s to address the needs of black Catholic teens. Several years prior, she had left a job in corporate America to stay home with her newborn son; by the time he turned three, she was looking to return to work.

TWENTY SOMETHING | Evangelization by hitchhiking

The Little Poor Friars and Poor Nuns of Jesus and Mary, a new religious community with a long name, dress and live like St. Francis of Assisi: in poverty, entirely dependent on God's providence. They were founded in 1999 by a 25-year-old Sicilian and approved by the Catholic Church in 2014.

Marketing the Church requires local efforts, sharing Gospel

Irish Bishop Paul Tighe, adjunct secretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture, spoke March 10 at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas. At right is Helen Osman, a communication adviser. Bishop Tighe said of the festival, “Despite all the sophistication, coolness, sarcasm and the irony at an event like this, I think if you speak with authenticity, there’s still a possibility of touching people’s hearts.”

AUSTIN, Texas — McDonald's, Apple, Starbucks and ... the Catholic Church?

In terms of recognizable organization names, the Catholic Church has to rank near the top. But, does it view itself as a brand to be marketed?

Taizé at Baptist Church in north St. Louis breaks down barriers

A Taizé service was held at New Northside Missionary Baptist Church in north St. Louis. The gathering began with prayer and song. Ramona Neumann, from the archdiocesean Offfice of Ecumenical & Interreligious Affairs, spoke with Regina Franklin, center, and Pat McCarty during a group discussion about trust and fear.

Before Feb. 10, the two Catholics and three Baptists had never met. But after a Taizé service at New Northside Missionary Baptist Church in north St. Louis, they opened up.

When they broke off from the larger group to discuss trust and fear, laughter erupted a couple times as they learned a little about their differences and similarities. Other times they listened closely as each described struggles they've had and how those difficulties led to a stronger faith when they realized God was at their side.

Spanish-language ministry program helps church meet needs of Latinos

Carmen Dean, director of Latino ministry at Risen Savior in Burnsville, Minn., hugged University of St. Thomas president Julie Sullivan following a 2016 ceremony at St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity where 45 Latino students received undergraduate lay ministry certificates in theology from the university in St. Paul, Minn.

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Andres Ramirez now has the theological background and formation to support his volunteer endeavors at Incarnation/Sagrado Corazon de Jesus in Minneapolis.

Ramirez, who doesn't speak fluent English, recently graduated with the first all-Spanish speaking cohort to earn an undergraduate lay ministry certificate in theology at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. The 45 students have attended lectures in Spanish on Tuesday nights since the spring 2014.

Evangelization may be key to getting more people at Mass

John Schwob, the "numbers guy" for the Archdiocese of St. Louis, offers one word to address the decline of Catholics' participation over the years.

"Evangelization," he said, succinctly.

The director of the Office of Pastoral Planning, Schwob churns out, mines and analyzes data in massive amounts. Virtually all of the statistics in the archdiocese run through him: demographics for a parish, an area or the archdiocese as a whole; enrollments for Catholic schools; plus, baptisms, first Communions, confirmations, marriages, offertories, Mass attendance and more.

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