Parishes prepare for evangelization weekend

Allegra Thatcher, Assistant Editor.

The Office of Catechesis and Evangelization hosted its annual DRE/CRE and RCIA coordinator meeting, Feb. 19, in the Bishop Howard Memorial Auditorium.

The meeting included an introduction to Evangelization Weekend, tips for the coordinators to get clearance for speakers and an open forum for attendees to ask questions of the office.

David Cooley, co-director of the Office, spoke to the importance of Evangelization Weekend: “What is evangelization? Going out and bringing others to Christ by being Christ for others,” he said. “Our job isn’t to fix others or to get them to convert to our way of thinking. … Our job is to love others.”

It shouldn’t be forced, said Mr. Cooley. “It is a concentrated weekend to highlight something we should be doing 24/7 – 365 days a year.”

Evangelization Weekend was further explained by Vicki Klocke, RCIA coordinator, St. Joseph Parish, Cold Spring. She explained it as a “come and see” event, sharing the Gospel message and introducing the RCIA program to non-Catholics. It will take place April 25-26 and will encourage parishioners to invite non-Catholics to accompany them to Mass.

Ms. Klocke said the goal is not explicitly getting people into RCIA, however. “Evangelization about sharing the good news of Christ, it’s not about adding members to the Church,” she said. “It’s about inviting others into a relationship with Jesus Christ. We want to show them that that relationship can be built in the Church through the sacraments.”

This year’s theme is “Lead Someone to Faith and Hope in God,” based on the readings for the third Sunday of Easter.

During the open forum, coordinators had a chance to ask questions and clarify concerns. One topic discussed was the upcoming new textbooks for grade schools, a project Mr. Cooley said is nearly finished. Currently a committee is discerning the options. The committee, through the Office of Catechesis and Evangelization, will submit a recommendation to Bishop Roger Foys.

Organizers hope that all parishes in the Diocese of Covington will participate in Evangelization Weekend April 25–26 this year and look for creative ways to share the faith with their communities.