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The New Evangelization: Renewing the Church


Saturday, April 20, 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.
Presenters: Anthony Gittins, C.S.Sp., Kristina M. DeNeve, and others
Free of charge, includes lunch.  Please Register
Location: Law School East Wing, Newton Campus
Maps and Directions  Parking will be available on the Newton Campus, behind the East Wing.
Boston College will be open tomorrow and this conference will be held as scheduled.

The theme of the October 2012 Synod of Bishops meeting in Rome—the New Evangelization—provides an opportunity to explore more deeply our understanding of new evangelization at this conference.  Plenary gathers and breakout sessions will examine the theological underpinnings and the best practices for evangelization.

Cosponsored by the School of Theology and Ministry and Paulist Reconciliation Ministries

Conference Schedule

9:00 – 9:30 a.m. – Welcome and Prayer Service

9:30-10:45 a.m. – Plenary Session

Anthony Gittins, C.S.Sp.

Mission, Evangelization, and Discipleship - Anthony Gittins, C.S.Sp. professor of mission and culture, Catholic Theological Union

With more than 80 definitions of "evangelization" presently circulating, we should perhaps recall that the word applies, first and foremost, to Jesus.  This lecture considers what Jesus did and why, and poses the question: what happens to evangelization after the Resurrection and Ascension?  The answer links God's eternal mission with our own Christian response.

11:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m. – Workshops

Frank DeSiano, C.S.P

An Evangelizing Agenda for Parishes Today - Rev. Frank DeSiano, C.S.P., president, Paulist Evangelization Ministries, and author
This presentation explores what parishes emphasize when they try to think of their mission in terms of evangelization and discipleship.  It touches on the broader cultural background of ministry today, and how parishes begin to address it.

Anthony Gittins, C.S.Sp.

Are There Any Christian Disciples Today? - Anthony Gittins, C.S.Sp.
The answer to this question is not as obvious as it might appear.  We will look for a Jesus-perspective on the answer, in order to see what adjustments may need to be made in our own lives.

Hosffman Ospino

Evangelizing in Many Tongues in Today’s Diverse Parish - Hosffman Ospino, STM assistant professor of Hispanic ministry and religious education
Nearly 40 percent of Catholic parishes in the United States serve parishioners in languages other than English, mostly in Spanish—and the numbers are on the rise. In this workshop participants reflect on what it means to be an evangelizing Church in the midst of cultural and linguistic diversity. We will look at recent data, some trends, best practices, and emerging questions that can help pastoral leaders to better plan ministry in their faith communities.

Kristina M. DeNeve

Responding to the “Sticky Questions” about the Catholic Faith - Kristina M. DeNeve, evangelization and adult faith formation coordinator, Diocese of Honolulu
Tough questions about our faith can make our stomachs tighten and our thoughts race.  But it doesn’t have to be this way!  This workshop will provide a process model that turns potential debates into genuine conversations.

Anna LaNave

They're Here....Now what?  Ministering to Returning Catholics - Anna LaNave, coordinator of ministries, Landings International, and co-author of When They Come Home: Ways to Welcome Returning Catholics (Twenty-Third Publications, 2009)
When an inactive Catholic is nudged by the Holy Spirit to get back to Church, it is a sacred moment.  The heart is open, and there is opportunity to not just offer our brother or sister a welcome home, but to re-introduce them to a relationship with Jesus Christ. This is the call of the New Evangelization.  This workshop gives practical tips on how to build a re-entry ministry that blesses both the returnees and the Catholics who reach out to them.

1:15 - 2:30 p.m. - Plenary Session

Kristina M. DeNeve

Hope for Inactive Catholics and for Those who Love Them - Kristina M. DeNeve, evangelization and adult faith formation coordinator, Diocese of Honolulu
Explore the issue of adults who identify themselves as Catholic but who don’t attend Mass regularly.  What our faith teaches about this issue and what you can do about it are likely to surprise you!

2:45 - 4:00 p.m. - Afternoon Workshops and closing

Rev. Philip Browning Helsel

God’s Presence in Our Stories - Rev. Philip Browning Helsel, STM assistant professor of pastoral care and counseling, and ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA)
An essential part of hearing the good news of the Gospel is receiving it within one’s life history, especially in those times when we have challenging problems. This workshop provides skills for listening to one’s story and to the stories of others in ways that discern agency and initiative within even the most difficult stories of oppression and marginalization.

Rediscovering Liturgy as our Primary Source of Evangelization Rev. Sean McCarthy, priest of the Archdiocese of Boston
The primary goal of the liturgical renewal remains the “full, conscious, and active participation of the faithful at liturgy.”  Liturgical celebrations, by their nature, evangelize.   This workshop examines practical ways to tap into our sacramental celebrations, their preparation, and follow-up so that the faithful are drawn more intimately into the life of the Church. Specifically, this presentation examines Sunday Eucharist, funeral liturgies, RCIA, and other moments of initiation.

Theresa A. O’Keefe

Seeking the Holy with Youth and Young AdultsTheresa A. O’Keefe STM assistant professor of the practice of youth and young adult faith and faculty co-director of contextual education
Recently, traditional pious spiritual practices have been on the rise among some youthful populations in the Roman Catholic Church.  This workshop attempts to make sense of this phenomenon, and will further strategize ways to attend to the holy as an element of ministry with youth and young adults.

Margaret Eletta Guider, O.S.F.

Sojourners, Care-Givers, and the New Evangelization at Life's End - Margaret Eletta Guider, O.S.F., STM associate professor of missiology
This workshop explores three instructive case studies on the processes of mutual evangelization involving three sojourners (with Alzheimer's dementia, end-stage cancer, and congestive heart failure) and those who companion and care for them at the end of life. The workshop offers a response to the question: what is truly new about an evangelizing process that enables persons-in-relationship to prepare in faith, hope, and love for the final unfolding of the mystery of life in Christ?

Susan M. Timoney

Nurturing the Evangelizing Identity of the Laity - Susan M. Timoney, assistant secretary, Pastoral Ministry and Social Concerns, Archdiocese of Washington
The success of the New Evangelization will require Catholic laity who embrace an evangelizing identity and sense of mission. This workshop will examine opportunities and tools for weaving the formation of an evangelizing consciousness in the education and formation of the laity.


After completing registration for the conference, registrants will be contacted via email to choose their preferred breakout sessions.