UP Catholic 00 01 2017 E Edition Page 7

www.upcatholic.org THE U.P. CATHOLIC TRANSFORMING FIRE: PASTORAL LETTER ON EVANGELIZATION June 16, 2017 7 Thank you to the Knights of Columbus Councils of the Upper Peninsula for making it possible to publish Bishop John Doerfler's Pastoral Letter on Evangelization in the Diocese of Marquette! to share our faith in all of our training, formation and educational programs. I invite all of you to participate in the opportunities that will be avail- able to help us learn how to share our faith with others better. I have provided here some general directions for sharing our faith. The fall evangelization work- shops will be forums to exchange concrete ideas and best practices for us as individuals, families and parishes to cooperate with the Holy Spirit to be formed in our faith and share our faith with others. PART TWO: WAYS TO RESPOND TO THE LORD'S CALL It is Gods will that the Church should grow, that more and more people have a personal encounter with Jesus and make a personal decision to follow him in faith. Such growth is the work of the Holy Spirit. Yet God wills to form us into Spirit-filled Evangelizers and calls us to cooperate with the Holy Spirit so that there will be an increase in the number of Catholics actively practicing their faith and sharing their faith with others. Concrete ways to help us respond to the Lords call and cooperate with the work of the Holy Spirit in the formation of Spirit-filled evangelizers and the growth of the Church are the following: A. Ways to Respond for All Catholics in the Diocese of Marquette All Catholics are encouraged to renew regular- ly their commitment to follow Jesus. All Catholics in the Diocese of Marquette are encouraged to spend at least 15 minutes in personal prayer each day and to pray daily the Prayer for the Formation of Spirit-Filled Evangelizers given at the beginning of this pastoral letter. All Catholics are encouraged to renew their commitment to participate in Mass each weekend and go to Confession at least twice a year, prefer- ably more often such as monthly. All Catholics who are married are encouraged to renew regularly their marriage vows and their commitment to their spouse and children. All Catholics are encouraged to build a com- munity of love and make their parishes more welcoming by desiring to share the love of Jesus with everyone who walks through the doors of the church and with people in need in the broader community. All Catholics are encouraged to participate in formation opportunities available in their par- ishes and throughout the diocese to deepen their prayer, to increase their knowledge of their faith, and to learn how to share their faith with others. All Catholics are encouraged to pray for the people that they know who are not practicing any faith and pray for inspiration to share Jesus with them. All Catholics are encouraged to offer a volun- tary penance for a new Pentecost, an outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Diocese of Marquette. B. Ways to Respond for Priests and Deacons All priests and deacons are encouraged to deep- en their prayer life and renew regularly the promises that they made on their ordination day. All priests and deacons are encouraged to im- prove their homilies, especially by offering concrete, practical suggestions or action steps on how people can apply the Sacred Scriptures in their lives . All priests and deacons are encouraged to in- clude frequently in their homilies the kerygma , or the fundamental Gospel message. All priests and deacons are encouraged to in- clude frequently in their homilies practical sugges- tions on how people can make their parish commu- nities more welcoming and how people can share their faith with others . All priest and deacon convocations for the next five years will focus on evangelization related themes, especially preaching . Other possible themes include marriage preparation and outreach to marriage, youth and young adult ministry, forming parish teams for evangelization, forming people to share their faith, etc. All priests and deacons are encouraged to offer a weekly voluntary penance for the conversion of the non-practicing members of their parishes, and of those within their parish boundaries who have no faith. C. Ways to Respond for Religious All Religious are encouraged to renew their vows regularly and deepen their commitment to prayer. All Religious are encouraged to strengthen their community life as a sign of Gods love. All Religious are encouraged to enhance the work of evangelization in which they are engaged according to their charism. All Religious are encouraged to pray for the peo- ple whom they serve. D. Ways to Respond for Parishes and Mis- sions Beginning July 1, 2017, every parish and mission will take a weekly weekend Mass attendance count. This will provide us with a good baseline number for Mass attendance and allow us to track growth. The numbers will be submitted to the Chancery via an online form. Year One, Pentecost 2017 to Pentecost 2018: Each parish/mission or cluster of parishes/ missions must develop and submit its plan for evangelization to the Bishop by Pentecost, 2018 . Each parish plan must include at least one con- crete objective in each of the following areas: Fostering a Personal Encounter with Jesus and a Life of Prayer Formation of a Welcoming Parish Commu- nity Formation of Disciples in the Faith Formation of Disciples for Mission The mission of evangelization is parish-wide. Thus, it is highly recommended that pastors form a parish team to assist them in developing and implementing their parish plan for evangelization . It is recommended that parishes and missions focus on the first two areas from Pentecost 2018 to Pentecost 2020, and the second two areas from Pentecost 2020 to Pentecost 2022. Thus, the focus of year one is the formation of the plan and the formation of a parish team for evangelization. The focus of years two and three is fostering a personal encounter with Jesus and a life of prayer and the formation of a welcoming parish community. The focus of years four and five is the formation of dis- ciples in the faith and for mission. Many parishes

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