Category Archives for Blog

VIDEO: My Full Talk at the 2014 Atlanta Eucharistic Congress

Screen Shot 2014-07-17 at 2.21.48 PMWhat an honor it was to speak once again at this year’s Eucharistic Congress in Atlanta, Georgia!

This year I was the first speaker of the day for a lineup that included Jeff Cavins, Mother Dolores Hart, Patty Schneier, Donna Cori Gibson, and Fr. Dave Dwyer.

[button size=”large” style=”blue” link=”http://www.gregwillits.com/speaking”]Start the Conversation About Having Greg at Your Next Event![/button]

This is the event that well over a decade ago completely re-ignited my faith.

Now the Archdiocese has posted the full video on my talk:

[button size=”large” style=”blue” link=”http://www.gregwillits.com/speaking”]Start the Conversation About Having Greg at Your Next Event![/button]

Interested in having me talk at your next event? Get more details on my speaking page!

Posted by Greg
July 17, 2014

Miss “That Catholic Show”? You’ll Love This.

Our entire family recently took part in a new video for the Archdiocese of Denver. Check it out here:

The video was released in conjunction with a new pastoral letter from Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila entitled, “Family: Become What You Are.”

I was given the task a couple weeks out from the release to develop some resources to accompany the letter. So instead of going to work one day, I sat in my truck in a park facing the front range of the Rocky Mountains and wrote 20 Family-Friendly Rosary Meditations, a Month of Dinnertime Conversation Questions, and the script for the video above.

My team at the Archdiocese then worked to film, edit, and revise all of these resources to coincide with the release of the pastoral letter and are now available, along with the pastoral letter, on the new Archdiocese of Denver website. I sincerely hope you enjoy these and will use them in your own homes.

Feel free to link to all of these from your own website, Twitter feed, or Facebook page!

Posted by Greg
July 1, 2014

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.

Posted by Greg
May 12, 2014

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.

Posted by Greg
May 5, 2014

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.”

Posted by Greg
April 28, 2014

8 Recent Paintings

I’ve been on a mad painting spree these last few months, and we’ve actually started framing and hanging some of them in the house.

What simultaneously amuses and befuddles me is that I never know which of my paintings my wife will deem “hang-worthy.”  Having made some horrible design choices in the past, we’re both pretty picky about what goes on the walls.  So I’m always pleased when I accidentally crank out a hang-worthy painting.

Like this one:

IMG_0640

And this one:

IMG_1573

See a trend as to where my paintings end up?

But then these others are sort of homeless right now.  This one was tucked on a bookshelf:IMG_1570

And this one started a series of landscapes (which I feel like is one of my weaker suites, so I’m doing  a lot of these lately trying to improve).  This one might get hung:

IMG_1577

This might get a frame, too:

IMG_0652

Jennifer has made it clear this one WON’T get hung.  So it’s in my closet right now:

IMG_1600

Did this one on Good Friday.  Not the best photograph, but I call this “Behold your Mother.”  Pay attention to the right-side edge of the painting.

IMG_1614

And I did this one yesterday on Easter Sunday.  These last two I did on my front porch, and very much enjoyed being outside doing these instead of being in the basement, but it’s not the most convenient thing to haul all my gear upstairs and outside.  But it’s worth it.  More to come!

IMG_1621

Posted by Greg
April 21, 2014

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.

Posted by Greg
April 21, 2014

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.”

Posted by Greg
April 14, 2014

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.

Posted by Greg
April 7, 2014

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.

Posted by Greg
March 31, 2014

Wedding Feast of Cana 2-Part Painting

The above video was shot from February 11, 2014 through tonight, March 30, 2014, but the process began way back in December when I first had the idea of doing a painting based on a stained glass image of the Wedding Feast of Cana, which is one of my favorite stories from the Bible.

As I searched around for stained glass images, I came across one from the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul in Providence, Rhode Island. Talking to my friend, Fr. Jay Finelli, a priest of that diocese, he believes the windows are as old as the Church, which is about to celebrate it’s 125th anniversary. Thus far, I have not been able to discover who created the original stained glass design.

Nevertheless, while the layout of the paintings I did is similar, there are so many things that are different, and areas I took liberty with the paintings to make them more in my style.

The new view when you first walk into our house

The new view when you first walk into our house

But more importantly, these two paintings did so much to help revitalize my desire to use my creativity in a more prayerful way. I wrote about my growing in this area in a previous post.

Just after finishing the second painting

Just after finishing the second painting

I definitely felt God’s peace and guidance through this work. There are a few aspects of the paintings that I have no idea how I pulled off, and I attribute those areas in particular to the Holy Spirit. I also attribute the spin-off Mysteries of the Rosary series (still in progress) to the Holy Spirit’s inspiration, as well.

I’ve been very blessed to rediscover this hobby after so many years. It’s hard to adequately give words to how it has changed me in such a short period of time. I feel a tremendous peace when painting that transcends just a relaxing hobby. I feel a connection with God and an appreciation for the gifts – big and small – that he gives us.

I suppose it’s appropriate that his first public miracle – his first gift to the world – would be the my first big project upon returning to these creative endeavors.
IMG_1553

Posted by Greg
March 30, 2014
>