BC School of Theology and Ministry Prof at Forefront of New Evangelization Effort
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. (December 2012)—Landings, a Paulist ministry of reconciliation that has helped parishes worldwide welcome people back to the Catholic Church, has announced the formation of a new program, directed by Associate Professor Thomas A. Kane, C.S.P., in the School of Theology and Ministry at Boston College, to promote evangelization in the American Catholic Church.
The Landings program comes as the Year of Faith, declared by Pope Benedict XVI, is commencing with the Synod for the New Evangelization in Rome.
“The New Evangelization is a challenge for the church community to look beyond its own needs and concerns and to look out into the ‘mission’ field, as it were,” said Fr. Kane. “Landings encourages a group of trained and compassionate lay people to reach out to those cut off from the Church for any number of reasons. Reaching out to those alienated or lost, Landings offers a safe place to tell one’s story and to find the way home.”
Landings provides people in the pews with the training and resources they need to welcome people back to the Church. “With two-thirds of all Catholics in the United States not practicing their faith, reaching out to inactive Catholics should be at the top of the Church's priority list,” Fr. Kane said. “Landings shows the Catholic community how to welcome back these Catholic brothers and sisters, and how to evangelize, simply by telling their own spiritual stories.”
BC School of Theology and Ministry Dean Mark Massa. S.J., praised Fr. Kane for his initiative and the benefit it will have for the Catholic community. “Landings is an incredibly important initiative for the American Catholic community precisely at this moment of great promise and challenge,” said Fr. Massa. “Tom Kane's work offers the Catholic community a very promising way of reconnecting to currently disaffected Catholics. I have high hopes for the program Tom has crafted as a gift for all of us.”
The Landings program from Paulist Press includes the Participant’s Journal, Coordinator’s Guide, Training Guide to the Program, a DVD Training Program and a marketing video for parish websites. A Spanish language version will be available in Spring 2013.
Fr. Kane is also collaborating with Continuing Education at the School of Theology and Ministry with a day-long symposium on the New Evangelization on April 20, 2013. Titled “The New Evangelization, Renewing the Church,” the symposium will feature plenary workshops on evangelization and the issues facing disaffected Catholics, as well as workshops on topic ranging from promoting Christian discipleship to reaching out to young Catholics.
—Office of News & Public Affairs