New Evangelizers in Action

New Evangelizers in Action: Fr. Kyle Sanders

Book Cover NEY T36515One of the most popular aspects of my book The New Evangelization and You: Be Not Afraid were the many sidebars about New Evangelizers in Action, stories of everyday Catholics doing their best to know, live, and share their faith. The original plan was for an entire bonus chapter of New Evangelizers, but unfortunately the page count exceeded the plan for the printers.

So for the next few weeks, I’m going to share this great bonus content from The New Evangelization and You: Be Not Afraid. Enjoy!

New Evangelizers in Action: Fr. Kyle Sanders

FrKyleSanders“The biggest challenge I find in knowing my faith is in being able to clearly articulate that which I believe to be true, even after a master’s degree in theology,” says Fr. Kyle Sanders, a 27-year-old priest in Archdiocese of New Orleans. “Clarity aids in communication. When I can speak clearly on what the faith is, then there is less obfuscation within conversations about the faith.”

As a young priest active in his parish as well as online, the need to speak clearly is pivotal.

“Currently I write a blog about books and reading in an attempt to connect the Word of Truth with the words people read in books,” says Fr. Kyle. “Books have such a wealth of knowledge and hidden revelation of the action of God that they are great source to allude to the eternal Truth, Jesus Christ.”

That proclamation of Jesus Christ, Father understands, is the first part of New Evangelization.  “One of my personal goals as associate pastor is to initiate a ministry of the new evangelization,” he says.  “I plan on starting this by getting our parish website fully redesigned.”

While a website is but one way to engage others in the New Evangelization, Father Kyle knows there are many opportunities awaiting those who long for a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.

“There is a stirring in the hearts of many young adults with the fire of the Holy Spirit and a zealous drive to proclaim the gospel to their peers and to their parents,” Father says.  “This needs to be tapped more and directed. They want to go out and just don’t know how or where to go.”

You can read Fr. Kyle’s blog at reverencedreading.com.

New Evangelizers in Action: Chad Torgerson and Waking Up Catholic

Book Cover NEY T36515One of the most popular aspects of my book The New Evangelization and You: Be Not Afraid were the many sidebars about New Evangelizers in Action, stories of everyday Catholics doing their best to know, live, and share their faith. The original plan was for an entire bonus chapter of New Evangelizers, but unfortunately the page count exceeded the plan for the printers.

So for the next few weeks, I’m going to share this great bonus content from The New Evangelization and You: Be Not Afraid. Enjoy!

New Evangelizers in Action: Chad Torgerson 

ChadTorgerson“I am neither Bill Gates nor William Shakespeare, but I can use what talent God has given me to good use,” says Chad Torgerson, who converted to Catholicism three years ago at the age of thirty.  “God grants us each certain gifts; He gave me talents with technology and a passion for writing. I maintain my own server, website, and social media outlets, design my own graphics, do all of the writing, and began guest-blogging recently (including on the New Evangelizers blog).”

When it comes to moving forward in knowledge of the faith, Chad minces no words.

“Knowing your faith is almost an oxymoron,” he says.  “Faith and reason, to many people, seem opposed to each other. Learning how faith and reason can coexist, and, in fact, must coexist, is the secret to a deeper faith. We cannot abandon reason for faith, or faith for reason. Reason has limits and needs faith to be expanded. Faith can be limitless but must be grounded through reason. Together, they help to foster growth and build spiritual maturity.”

Despite growing in spiritual maturity, Chad still identifies some of the key areas where his sharing of the faith could improve.

“It can be much easier to share our faith openly when hiding behind our computer keyboards, but the greatest evangelistic work is done face-to-face,” he says.  “A computer screen can’t convey the love and emotion behind real faith sharing. Behind a keyboard, we can use a thesaurus, spell-check, and fancy graphics to dress up a message. In person, we are left with only our voices. In any given moment, we may struggle to find the right words, but if we rely on the Holy Spirit for guidance, He will tell us what to say.”

You can follow Chad online at www.WakingUpCatholic.com.

New Evangelizers in Action: Allison Riley

Book Cover NEY T36515One of the most popular aspects of my book The New Evangelization and You: Be Not Afraid were the many sidebars about New Evangelizers in Action, stories of everyday Catholics doing their best to know, live, and share their faith. The original plan was for an entire bonus chapter of New Evangelizers, but unfortunately the page count exceeded the plan for the printers.

So for the next few weeks, I’m going to share this great bonus content from The New Evangelization and You: Be Not Afraid. Enjoy!

New Evangelizers in Action: Allison Riley

“After becoming Catholic, and RCIA ended, I had a hunger to learn more about my new faith,” says Allison Riley, who converted to Catholicism ten years ago, while in her mid-twenties.  “I loved being involved in my parish and began teaching CCD classes.”

For Allison, the mother of five children, one of the most common struggles in her own continued understanding of Catholicism in finding ways to learn more about the faith in a way that would also help care for her children.  “This is something that other churches do VERY well. I am not talking about childcare at Mass, but for other events in my parish. I know moms and families that would love to learn more but we are at home being open to life. Our Catholic churches need to figure out how to better embrace large families, which are the very core of our faith.”

When looking at the New Evangelization, Allison says, “I see more people getting involved, but sometimes I think the message gets watered down as people try to make faith fun.”

By volunteering in other ways, Allison began to see the hunger she experienced for her faith was not her own.

“My hope is that parishes get back to the core truths of our Church,” Allison says.  “Teach people about their Catholic faith and stop worrying about offending people.”

New Evangelizers in Action: Helping Others Online – John Clem

Book Cover NEY T36515One of the most popular aspects of my book The New Evangelization and You: Be Not Afraid were the many sidebars about New Evangelizers in Action, stories of everyday Catholics doing their best to know, live, and share their faith. The original plan was for an entire bonus chapter of New Evangelizers, but unfortunately the page count exceeded the plan for the printers.

So for the next few weeks, I’m going to share this great bonus content from The New Evangelization and You: Be Not Afraid. Enjoy!

New Evangelizers in Action: John Clem

JohnClem“I first heard the call to the New Evangelization through Blessed John Paul II and the universal call to holiness,” says John Clem, a life-long Catholic from the Diocese of Richmond.  “I was inspired to do more and to start Catholic Web Services to help rebuild the digital Church.”

Through John’s efforts, Catholic Web Services has developed into an online community of Catholic webmasters, developers, social network gurus, and content creators who share knowledge in service to the Church, as well as free websites and other internet services to parishes.

“We hope for our ministry to help all Catholic websites be better in content, presence, and inspiration,” John says.

Despite efforts online, John still experiences many of the same challenges in knowing, living, and sharing the faith as others do offline.  “Taking the time to read and pray, secular skepticism, and remembering to carry faith with love, goodness, beauty, and truth,” are the biggest obstacles John faces.

Yet through these challenges, John is hopeful for the Catholic Church and the New Evangelization.  “I pray for the entire Catholic faith to have many years of growth in the love of Christ,” he says.

You can learn more about John’s efforts as a new evangelizer at www.CatholicWS.com.

New Evangelizers in Action: John Proffitt

Book Cover NEY T36515One of the most popular aspects of my book The New Evangelization and You: Be Not Afraid were the many sidebars about New Evangelizers in Action, stories of everyday Catholics doing their best to know, live, and share their faith. The original plan was for an entire bonus chapter of New Evangelizers, but unfortunately the page count exceeded the plan for the printers.

So for the next few weeks, I’m going to share this great bonus content from The New Evangelization and You: Be Not Afraid. Enjoy!

New Evangelizers in Action: John Proffitt

John Proffitt believes he has a desire to share his faith journey, and to do it in the most creative way possible.

“I am in the process of trying to write my own book, based on a prayer that I felt I was given a dozen years ago,” John says.  “If I finish that one and it is deemed publishable, I have an idea for a second book that I would also like to write.”

His writing stems, in part, from his desire to read more.

“I have actually spent a considerable amount of time building up a library of Catholic authors and books on apologetics and other topics to learn my faith better,” John says.  “I feel like I am getting a lot more comfortable with the basic knowledge of the faith.”

Even still, reading and remembering are two different things.

“What I wish I could do more of (should do more of) is memorizing some of the scripture references to support the various aspects of the Catholic faith that are the least understood by non-Catholics so I can change their perspective of what Catholics believe and why.”

Like many, John’s past is often a hindrance to having confidence as a New Evangelizer, and sometimes makes it difficult to live his faith.

“I was such a dog for so many years, overcoming the bad habits is certainly a challenge,” John says.  “The older I get, the less patient I seem to be with the process, which just angers me.”

Nevertheless, John holds to great hope for the future of the Church and his own faith development.

“My hopes are that more of those who call themselves Catholic will actually begin to understand and embrace their faith more faithfully,” John says about the New Evangelization.  “I think there are plenty of things that are making us actually decide for or against the Church – the HHS mandate for example. The differences between black and white, right and wrong, good and evil are becoming more apparent, with less opportunity to sit on the fence.”

New Evangelizers in Action: Cheryl Dickow

Book Cover NEY T36515One of the most popular aspects of my book The New Evangelization and You: Be Not Afraid were the many sidebars about New Evangelizers in Action, stories of everyday Catholics doing their best to know, live, and share their faith. The original plan was for an entire bonus chapter of New Evangelizers, but unfortunately the page count exceeded the plan for the printers.

So for the next few weeks, I’m going to share this great bonus content from The New Evangelization and You: Be Not Afraid. Enjoy!

New Evangelizers in Action: Cheryl Dickow

dickow_cherylCheryl Dickow has a passion for sharing the faith through the written word, not only as an author in her own right, but as a publisher of others, as well.

“I began Bezalel Books to provide a forum for authors who did not have “names” or “connections” but who were, themselves, trying to respond to the new evangelization,” says Cheryl.  “It has been a real blessing to meet these men and women who simply want to be part of the body of Christ with their talents and gifts.”

In addition to trying to make inroads on a global scale, Cheryl also maintains focus on a local level through a number of volunteer positions including leading Bible study and teaching adult faith formation.

Though she’s engaged in education and writing, Cheryl still encounters several challenges in knowing her faith.

“I participated in a program titled ‘Called and Gifted’ and found out that my gifts were in areas of knowledge, teaching, writing and evangelization,” she says. “While that confirmed for me that I am where God wants me and can use me, I have found the biggest challenge to knowing my faith to be the limited time I have to take it all in. The older I get (I am currently 54) the more challenged I am to prioritize what I need to read, do and accomplish so that I can live fully for Christ.”

For the New Evangelization, Cheryl has high hopes, especially “that Catholics who have platforms will be more willing to open doors for Catholics who don’t but who are still the body of Christ. There are so many people who have been given a passion and the gifts to accomplish something for Christ but need the help of their Catholic brothers and sisters whose own apostolates have been blessed by God–and maybe who have forgotten where their blessings come from and for what purpose they are to serve.”

You can visit Cheryl’s website at www.bezalelbooks.com.

New Evangelizers in Action: Fr. Darryl Millette

Book Cover NEY T36515One of the most popular aspects of my book The New Evangelization and You: Be Not Afraid were the many sidebars about New Evangelizers in Action, stories of everyday Catholics doing their best to know, live, and share their faith. The original plan was for an entire bonus chapter of New Evangelizers, but unfortunately the page count exceeded the plan for the printers.

So for the next few weeks, I’m going to share this great bonus content from The New Evangelization and You: Be Not Afraid. Enjoy!

New Evangelizers in Action: Fr. Daryl Millette

FrDarrylWhen Fr. Darryl Millette, a priest is the diocese of Saskatoon, decided to get involved in Catholic New Media, he went all in and created both a personal and parish website, along with a podcast and YouTube channel.

Even though he is an ordained priest, the downside of being so busy with these various projects is taking the time to read and study in order to better know his faith.

When asked about the biggest challenge in living his faith, it may be surprising that the answer is reminiscent of what is commonly heard from laity.  “Taking the time to nurture my personal relationship with Jesus Christ [is the biggest challenge], particularly through prayer,” says Fr. Darryl.

But Father understands the need to find other resources to help himself and his parish to be more active in the New Evangelization.

“One of the most recent things we did was a 10 week showing of Fr. Robert Barron’s Catholicism,” says Father Darryl.  “It went over very well and I plan to show it again in the fall, while using is as part of an RCIA process.”

You can find links to Fr. Millette’s initiatives at www.saskapriest.com.

New Evangelizers in Action: Fr. Timothy Gallagher

Book Cover NEY T36515One of the most popular aspects of my book The New Evangelization and You: Be Not Afraid were the many sidebars about New Evangelizers in Action, stories of everyday Catholics doing their best to know, live, and share their faith. The original plan was for an entire bonus chapter of New Evangelizers, but unfortunately the page count exceeded the plan for the printers.

So for the next few weeks, I’m going to share this great bonus content from The New Evangelization and You: Be Not Afraid. Enjoy!

New Evangelizers in Action: Fr. Timothy Gallagher

FrGallagherFr. Timothy Gallagher is a priest of the Archdiocese of Atlanta currently serving his first year as a pastor of his own parish.  To him, the need for the New Evangelization is not just important, but critical.  Even still, the implementation of the New Evangelization requires a gentle hand.

“At the parish level, it is important to help people connect to the Universal Church so to be able to enter into Her perspective and appreciate what the Holy Spirit is guiding Her through in our time,” says Fr. Gallagher.  “So for me simply introducing the language of ‘New Evangelization’ is a major step, explaining its origins and meaning in its development, and trying to help parishioners to understand, accept, embrace, and own it, not just as a concept or a trendy campaign, but as a movement of the Holy Spirit to bring new life to the Church.”

So how does a busy pastor working as the only priest in his parish approach this?  Start with the basics.

“In the area of reaching my own active parishioners, I cannot assume that they even know the basic Precepts of the Church anymore,” explains Fr. Gallagher.  “You cannot tell someone to go and do corporal works of mercy if they have no idea what you’re talking about.  You cannot challenge someone to preach the Gospel if they think that is something that only televangelists do.  I have to use clear catechesis in the pulpit and in the classroom to, in a sense, re-evangelize them.”

Fr. Gallagher also understands that the use of catechesis sometimes requires identifying misunderstandings people may have about Catholicism.  “I find that a big part of Knowing the Faith in my own parish is first helping people come to an awakening that they do not know it,” he says.  “Many live a hybrid sort of faith, a mix of protestant beliefs and popular culture along with personal opinion.  So it has to re-presented but in a way that our culture has made them accustomed to taking in information.  It will be like new to them.  So as a pastor, I have know how to do this.”

Is he himself challenged by the need to Evangelize anew?

“The New Evangelization is a charism born from the Second Vatican Council that is coming into maturity, a charism that is made for our time, our culture, and, yes, our technology,” explains Fr. Gallagher.  “And so I as a pastor have to pray that I may have this spirit, that I may share this charism given to our Church, and then share it with my flock.  The spirit of the New Evangelizing is the age-old message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that brings light to the world, that opens our mind to a new vision of what our life is all about and a gives a new perspective on how would should live our life.  But it is the presentation I think that is key.”

When asked about ways to best present the faith, Fr. Gallagher points to successful examples of evangelizers from history.

“St. Paul was one man who made a big difference in Evangelizing,” says Fr. Gallagher.  “As he sailed on the waves of the sea by ship in the spirit of Psalm 19:4, I hope to help my little parish to realize that we can reach many on the waves of the internet.  Perhaps it will be the spark that ignites the New Evangelization that sets the Earth on Fire.  My work as a pastor has to get parishioners to see themselves as a part of this Living Flame and to understand that they play a crucial role in its spreading throughout the world, starting with their families, through social network of friends, and those they meet along the electronic highways and byways.  If they can embrace the idea of using virtual reality virtuously, then I think Pslam 19:4 can be realized more and more in our time.”

New Evangelizers in Action: Teresa Tomeo

Book Cover NEY T36515One of the most popular aspects of my book The New Evangelization and You: Be Not Afraid were the many sidebars about New Evangelizers in Action, stories of everyday Catholics doing their best to know, live, and share their faith. The original plan was for an entire bonus chapter of New Evangelizers, but unfortunately the page count exceeded the plan for the printers.

So for the next few weeks, I’m going to share this great bonus content from The New Evangelization and You: Be Not Afraid. Enjoy!

New Evangelizers in Action: Teresa Tomeo

tomeo“My entire apostolate/ministry is hopefully an effort to help promote the New Evangelization,” says popular radio host and writer Teresa Tomeo.  “It is what I love and what I do 24/7 (when I am not sleeping of course).”

So what drives this desire to focus on the New Evangelization?

“I think Pope Benedict is truly a prophet for our times and knows why this is so needed right now,” Teresa says. “We have an incredible opportunity to evangelize as well as re-evangelize and it has never been more needed.  I just hope that more Catholics will discover the treasures of the faith and take time to study it more closely.”

To help in this effort of educating others, Teresa explores multiple methods of delivering the message.  “I run a full time media apostolate (Teresa Tomeo Communications LLC), host a national talk show, write books about the faith, media influence, and women’s issues, and speak regularly around the country on these issues as well.  I am also active in social media with blogging as well as maintaining Facebook pages.  My company also has a public relations arm that works with Catholic apostolate in helping them with their own evangelization efforts.”

Like others who work to spread the Gospel, Teresa understands the need to continually be educated herself.  “My biggest challenge in knwing my faith is keeping up on all of the great writings and teachings in the Church,” says Teresa.  “There is so much depth and beauty but not enough time to absorb it all but I keep trying.”

It also helps to be able to identify her own shortcomings when it comes to living out the faith, which includes trying to be patient with the un-churched.  “We are living in dark times right now and I know we are all on a very unique journey but I want so many people to know Jesus and recognize the gift of the Church,” she says.  “But then I have to remember that I can only change myself so it is always back to square one. It’s a good lesson to look back at my own many failings and remember that I was there once too.”

Baptized into the faith, but having left it for fifteen years, Teresa’s own reversion to Catholicism only acts to heighten her own desire to share the faith with others.

“You can’t have a discussion or even try to witness if people are not open to the truth and so many people deny what is right in front of their noses and they live literally in an alternative universe or reality denying facts and staying in their own comfortable place,” says Teresa.  “The truth of Church teaching is so clear in terms of what we see in society when we don’t follow the natural law.  Just look at the fallout from abortion and STD’s.  When we don’t follow God’s plan things fall apart but people often refuse to look at this.”

You can find Teresa’s books and other resources online at www.teresatomeo.com.

New Evangelizers in Action: Tim Drake

Book Cover NEY T36515One of the most popular aspects of my book The New Evangelization and You: Be Not Afraid were the many sidebars about New Evangelizers in Action, stories of everyday Catholics doing their best to know, live, and share their faith. The original plan was for an entire bonus chapter of New Evangelizers, but unfortunately the page count exceeded the plan for the printers.

So for the next few weeks, I’m going to share this great bonus content from The New Evangelization and You: Be Not Afraid. Enjoy!

New Evangelizers in Action: Tim Drake

TimDrake“I encountered Christ in the Catholic faith through Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration,” says Tim Drake, a convert from Lutheranism who now works as a Catholic journalist, radio host, and author. “Once I had that encounter, and understood the Catholic understanding of Christ’s presence in the Eucharist, there was no turning back.”

And though there’s no turning back, Tim acknowledges the myriad of potential difficulties along the road to heaven.

“I suspect that, as with most people, the biggest challenges to living my faith are my own shortcomings, failings, weaknesses, and sin,” says Tim.  “My own selfishness is what prevents me from the grace that Christ and His Church so desperately want to share with me. There is a tremendous need for spiritual directors and spiritual direction so that those of us stuck at a particular place in our faith journey might be able to advance.”

While Tim’s own parish in the Diocese of St. Cloud in Minnesota offers multiple opportunities for Tim to continue in his own faith development, the overall emphasis on using new tools to share the Good News is still very much in early stages.  “My parish is active in the New Evangelization primarily through the programs it offers, such as dynamic parish Bible studies and educational offerings for adults and confirmation students,” says Tim. “The parish website is quite rudimentary, however, and neither the parish nor the pastor utilize social media. The Diocese has embraced some social media to engage in the New Evangelization, but is at the beginning stages. There is much more that both the parish and the diocese could be doing in this regard.”

When asked what more could be done to speed up and further these efforts, Tim identifies an all too common problem for evangelization efforts within the Church. “Funding certainly is a roadblock both at the parish and diocesan level,” Tim explains. “Both could be doing far more with technology and social media, but simply do not have a dedicated person or the funding to be as active as they might.”

Even still, Tim sees great promise in the future of New Evangelization.  “I hope that it will be an opportunity for all the faithful to grow in their knowledge, love, and practice of the faith,” Says Tim.  “Faith is a gift, but one that is meant to be shared. Christ told the apostles to ‘Go out to all the nations and baptize them.’ We are facing a time when ignorance of, and hostility toward, the Church are extraordinary. I would like to see the lay faithful of the Church use this opportunity to not only grow in their own faith, but to spread that to family members, friends, co-workers, and strangers so that more may come to know Christ and His Church.”

So how is Tim growing in his own faith himself?

“As British journalist and convert G.K. Chesterton once said, ‘The Church is much bigger on the inside than it is from the outside,'” quotes Tim.  “Being Catholic is realizing just how much you don’t know, and admitting that you’ll never be able to learn everything there is to know about the Church. There’s much that is a mystery. As Catholics, we need to be comfortable with mystery.”

You can read years worth of articles from Tim Drake at the National Catholic Register’s website at www.ncregister.com.

New Evangelizers in Action: Bravehearts Men’s Ministry

Book Cover NEY T36515One of the most popular aspects of my book The New Evangelization and You: Be Not Afraid were the many sidebars about New Evangelizers in Action, stories of everyday Catholics doing their best to know, live, and share their faith. The original plan was for an entire bonus chapter of New Evangelizers, but unfortunately the page count exceeded the plan for the printers.

So for the next few weeks, I’m going to share this great bonus content from The New Evangelization and You: Be Not Afraid. Enjoy!

New Evangelizers in Action: Bravehearts Men’s Ministry

Since 2007, Bravehearts Catholic Men’s Ministry out of St. Joseph’s Parish in Lake Orion, Michigan has helped men in their faith lives in multiple ways.  By bringing in local and national Catholic speakers to help inspire and challenge men to live their Catholic faith and following up these gatherings by forming small men’s groups, Bravehearts men build the confidence needed to talk about faith.

Bravehearts“I have considered myself Catholic all my life although due to my ignorance and poor catechesis I fell away from the Church in my 20’s and 30’s,” says Scott Gordon, chairman of Bravehearts.  “Then I had a profound spiritual experience in my mid 30’s that I attribute to the 24-hour Perpetual Adoration chapel at our parish as well as a small men’s group I attended.”

These two things combined changed Scott’s life for the better.  “I was compelled to learn and get more involved in every aspect of my faith and to this day am still amazed at how ignorant and stupid I was when I was younger. Because of this spiritual experience I have engrossed myself in aspects of evangelization in both my personal life and parish life.”

Andy Gardner, Braveheart’s vice-chairman, has experienced similiar blessings by spending time in prayer and adoration, but the desire to be a new evangelizer still requires work to overcome the roadblocks.

“There is such a richness to our Catholic faith that is also so intimidating at times,” says Andy.  “Where do you start?!? To some it’s not knowing which version of a Bible to get, what the heck is in this 3” thick Catechism, how do I say a Rosary if I even wanted too!?!?”

For Andy, and other men in Bravehearts, inspiration usually comes from others experiencing life in much the same way as they do.  “Just hearing other men talk about living their faith is educational at times,” Andy explains.  “The other way we’ve overcome this challenge is sitting in silence in our perpetual Adoration Chapel at St. Joe’s. We have a Bravehearts hour on Tuesday mornings at 5:00am, and there is always a portion of that hour spent in silence to learn from God. Nothing could be easier than just sitting and listening.”

“We believe prayer and worship is one of the most important aspects to this ministry,” Scott adds. “We encourage a strong prayer life with emphasis on prayer and adoration in front of the Blessed Sacrament. We pray for the Holy Spirit to guide our men’s ministry to help all men of all faiths come to a better knowledge of the truth which is Christ Himself and His Holy Church.”

Both men believe the time spent in prayer, study, and fellowship will yield great results for the Church.

“Evangelization basically boils down to truth,” says Scott.  “Through my research of history, scripture and common sense I am completely convinced that all truth, all love and all grace exists first and in its entirety within the Catholic Church. And if we fail to evangelize and defend the truth that defines us we risk losing our identity as Catholic Christians.”

“No doubt there are problems in the world,” Andy says.  “But tell me how Evangelization won’t help fix poverty, crime, abortion, pornography, war, or any other of the problems in our world. Evangelization will bring more people to want to fix these issues either in their own lives or in the world. Evangelization is the answer to any problem in our world today, and as more and more people come to a deeper faith in Christ, they will begin attacking these problems.”

You can learn more about Bravehearts at www.BraveheartsMen.org.

New Evangelizers in Action: Super-Writer Mike Aquilina

Book Cover NEY T36515One of the most popular aspects of my book The New Evangelization and You: Be Not Afraid were the many sidebars about New Evangelizers in Action, stories of everyday Catholics doing their best to know, live, and share their faith. The original plan was for an entire bonus chapter of New Evangelizers, but unfortunately the page count exceeded the plan for the printers.

So for the next few weeks, I’m going to share this great bonus content from The New Evangelization and You: Be Not Afraid. Enjoy!

New Evangelizers in Action: Super-Writer Mike Aquilina

mikeaquilinaDespite weekly speaking and radio appearances, hosting multiple series on EWTN television, and writing more than forty books and hundreds of articles about Catholicism, Mike Aquilina understands his primary vocation starts under his own roof.

“The most important apostolate I have is as husband and father,” says Mike.  “I am passionately in love with the woman I married twenty-seven years ago, and our love has given us six children. Four are still at home with us. We’ve always homeschooled.”

Even still, this parishioner from the Diocese of Pittsburgh continues to work on his own understanding of the Catholic faith.

“Making time for ongoing study,” is what Mike says is his biggest challenge in knowing the faith.  “The demands of the work are constantly urgent. Yet the pope keeps saying things that are very valuable. Theologians keep writing wonderful books. Had I but world enough and time!”

Mike also candidly shares the difficulties he encounters when sharing the faith, despite the opportunities he regularly has to do so.  “I’m an extreme introvert, extremely shy,” Mike explains.  “Yet my work demands a very high level of social interaction. God is good at getting us over ourselves.”

And identifying the ways God helps other people grow in their faith is one of the greatest benefits of the New Evangelization.  “I am constantly in awe of the fidelity of the people who go to Mass every day,” Mike says.  “They’re the folks who also fill the town with deeds of kindness every day. That’s how the world will be won. Charity radiates from the Mass. Charity converts the world.”

You can visit Mike’s blog and discover his books about Catholicism at www.MikeAquilina.com.

New Evangelizers in Action: Online Evangelizer Bryan Murdaugh

Book Cover NEY T36515One of the most popular aspects of my book The New Evangelization and You: Be Not Afraid were the many sidebars about New Evangelizers in Action, stories of everyday Catholics doing their best to know, live, and share their faith. The original plan was for an entire bonus chapter of New Evangelizers, but unfortunately the page count exceeded the plan for the printers.

So for the next few weeks, I’m going to share this great bonus content from The New Evangelization and You: Be Not Afraid. Enjoy!

New Evangelizers in Action: Online Evangelizer Bryan Murdaugh

BryanMurdaugh“I want to be more involved at every level of Evangelization within (and even beyond) my sphere,” says Bryan Murdaugh, a 33-year-old lifelong Catholic from the Diocese of Charleston.  “I want my children to understand the importance of evangelization, and I’m excited to see new faces come forward at a local level to realize that they’re living a faith of radical love.”

This determination is not something new to Bryan.  He’s been involved in youth ministry at the Parish and Diocesan level for 11 years, as well as involved in a youth evangelization apostolate called 5thousand for the last four years.  Additionally, he is a small business owner, creating websites, mobile apps, and graphic and video design services.

“While our business caters to more than Catholics, evangelization remains at the core of our business,” Bryan says.  “We serve many important apostolates engaged in spreading the Gospel, and even support some diocesan offices, including the Office of Vocations for the Diocese of Charleston and I also volunteer as a youth advisor in my Parish, Our Lady of the Hills, in Columbia, SC.”

Like others, though Bryan puts great focus on the New Evangelization in his life, taking steps to know, live, and share the faith still take ongoing effort.

“I think the biggest challenges in knowing the faith come from being bombarded with almost as much misconception about the faith as I was taught the truth about the faith,” Bryan explains.  “Growing up amid people who held false beliefs about Catholics and not being armed with the right tools to combat that as an adolescent put me a little behind the curve.”

Like many who grew up in the 70s and 80’s and other generations, Bryan has discovered that despite a lack of catechesis, God can use those moments of weakness to strengthen a person’s faith.  “It’s also possible, however, that this disadvantage gave me enough thirst to learn – which keeps me going today,” Bryan says.  “I do feel like I started later than I would have liked to, though.”

When asked about roadblocks in the New Evangelization, Bryan points to a common malady that many encounter: Time.

“It’s too easy to be busy,” Bryan says.  “When we’re busy, we neglect prayer. When we neglect our prayer life, we miss out on occasions of grace and we forget to lean on Jesus Christ in everything we do.”

But time is not the only challenge facing Catholics today.

“I think fear is big too,” says Bryan.  “I think the laity-at-large is very concerned that if they get involved with the Church, they’re going to have them out of their comfort zones in silly or even dangerous situations. I feel like the “comfort zone” is too safe for sure, but I think people need to realize that we are a church of reason AND faith, and that there’s no reason to be afraid to step forward.”

You can visit Bryan’s website at fivable.com.