By Sal Della Bella
The new evangelization is a call to deepen our relationship with Christ, be transformed and renewed by the Gospel, and empower and support one another to go forth and share that good news with the world.
As Pope Paul VI reminds us “the church exists in order to evangelize,” that is, the church exists to proclaim the good news and bring people to an intimate encounter with Christ. In its missionary spirit, it may compel us to set out anew beyond our familiar boundaries and horizons in order to discern new and effective ways of proclaiming the Gospel.
As director of evangelization for the Archdiocese of Louisville, one of my roles is to help empower parishes to become more vital and effective evangelizing communities.
Parish programs, processes and strategies have their value and can be effective. But it is more often in personal encounters with one another — in the sharing of our stories of faith and transformation and hope and witness — that evangelization is realized. Over the past several weeks in interviews with people from a variety of parishes in our archdiocese, I have heard many stories that celebrate the richness of our Catholic Christian faith — stories of hope, inspiration and joy.
I believe that these and similar stories are worth sharing. They can provide for us living examples of encounters with Christ as well as effective ways to proclaim the good news of our faith.
With that being said, I would like to introduce a new monthly column in The Record, beginning in July, in which these stories can be shared. In this column, “A View from the Pew,” writers are invited to share their personal experiences and observations as Catholics.
Some ideas for topics include: Why is my faith important to me? What is most meaningful to me as a Catholic today? What would I like my parish to better understand about me and/or my family? What are my greatest hopes? How have I come to experience God through the Catholic Church? What does my relationship with Jesus Christ mean to my faith? How do I live out my faith as a Catholic?
Writers also are invited to share good news stories: service projects, school stories, great prayer or retreat experiences, and ideas and best practices for sharing our faith with others.
Some guidelines: Articles should be between 500 to 600 words, and they will be edited for content, grammar and journalistic standards. While articles should be honest, they should always be civil and constructive and never attack individuals.
Submissions must include the name and contact information of the writer; anonymous submissions will not be considered. Submission of an article does not guarantee its publication, and the editor will make the final decision about the date of publication.
Please send articles to Sal Della Bella, firstname.lastname@example.org, along with your name, parish, contact information and an electronic photo, if possible. (For photos, a headshot is preferred.)
I look forward to hearing your view from the pew!