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Workshops will focus on what it means to evangelize, sharing personal faith stories

Catholics across the archdiocese are invited this spring to learn the basics of evangelizing in their daily lives.

The Office of Evangelization and Discipleship will host Evangelization 101 workshops in each of the 15 planning areas in February, March and April. The workshops will focus on what it means to evangelize and how to share your personal stories of faith, said Brian Miller, director of evangelization and discipleship.

“We all have a call — a right and a duty, as the Catechism says — to evangelize. Are people confident in their ability to do that?” Miller said. “We want people to be comfortable talking about their own relationship with God and sharing it with others.”

The three-hour training will be interactive, including time for attendees to practice giving their own testimony to another person and exchanging feedback.

“As people establish a habit (of sharing), they realize it’s not as scary as they think it is, that it’s doable, it’s possible,” Miller said. “And then, they can continue to discern how the Lord is calling them to continue to be engaged in the work of evangelization.”

The sessions will be held as the archdiocese prepares for the All Things New parish announcements on Pentecost, May 28. While the structural changes of All Things New are being addressed through the pastoral planning process, the grassroots work of individuals engaging in evangelization is also essential for becoming a Church of missionary disciples, Miller said. The more Catholics who are confident in the basics of evangelization, the smoother parish transitions will be, he said.

“As our new parishes exist, and as new leaders step into new roles, whether that be pastors, or staff, or a new parish council president, they’re going to need people they can lean on heavily in the parishes to help implement renewal and change,” Miller said. “Change doesn’t come easy.”

Hosting the workshops by planning area will also give neighboring parishioners an opportunity to get to know each other and “work together on our common mission, as opposed to what separates us,” Miller said. “I think that’s really important. Because even if you’re not merging with another parish in your planning area, you should be working together because you’re probably more alike than you are different, and you can share and brainstorm. The more we’re sharing ideas and working together, the better off we’re going to be overall.”

Evangelization 101 workshops are open to all ages. You do not have to live within the boundaries of the planning area to attend that area’s workshop, and the session content will be identical at each one. There is no deadline to register, but each workshop does have a capacity limit. To register, visit archstl.org/evangelization.

>> Evangelization 101 Workshops

The archdiocesan Office of Evangelization and Discipleship is hosting free Evangelization 101 workshops throughout the archdiocese this spring. This workshop will help parishioners learn the basic skills of evangelization and the confidence to share their own stories of faith with others.

The workshop will be held in each of the 15 planning areas from 9 a.m.-noon on Saturday mornings. The content will be the same at each workshop, so plan to attend just one. For more information and to register, visit archstl.org/evangelization.

Feb. 11: Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis (planning area 3)

Feb. 11: St. Joseph in Cottleville (10)

Feb. 25: St. James in Potosi (14)

March 4: St. Joseph in Imperial (13)

March 4: St. Cletus in St. Charles (9)

March 18: St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in south St. Louis County (5)

March 18: Holy Spirit in Maryland Heights (7)

March 18: Sacred Heart in Troy (11)

March 25: St. Gerard Majella in Kirkwood (6)

March 25: Immaculate Conception in Union (12)

April 1: Ste. Genevieve in Ste. Genevieve (15)

April 1: St. Francis Xavier “College” Church (2)

April 15: Holy Infant in Ballwin (8)

April 15: St. Raphael the Archangel in south St. Louis (4)

April 22: Sacred Heart in Florissant (1)

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