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Bland Evangelization

  /   Sunday July 13, 2003  

Rarely do I blog news stories from my own diocese, but I think that’s because the Diocese of Memphis doesn’t make too much news. Our diocesean paper, The West Tennessee Catholic, wasted devoted a large portion of last week’s paper to a program entitled Disciples in Mission. This program was a product of the Paulist National Catholic Evangelization Association as a response to the American Bishops call to “Go and Make Disciples.” Perhaps it would have been better if it had been based on the new evangelization called for by Pope John Paul II.

The most charitable thing that I can think to say is that I disagree with the author’s viewpoint regarding the smashing success of the program. The program is just plain lame because it is basically doctrine-free. I don’t remember any mentioning of the sacraments. The discussion regarding the Gospel reading of the temptation of Jesus had nothing to do with passage about temptation. Some of the discussion questions were questionable (e.g. “What is the difference between following Church law and living in covenant love?”)

I was involved in one of the discussion meetings afterward, and I cannot think of one thing in my parish that has been born out of those discussions except for the fact that the cantor now says “We’d like to welcome all visitors and new parishoners . . . ” before each Mass. We took a survey, but I have yet to hear what became of it. I wonder if those so-called developments in parishes really had anything to do with Disciples in Mission.

Our bishop mandated its use in the diocese. He got up on his State of the Diocese address in 2001 to tell us that we had this “evangelization program” going. I sincerely hope that our bishop didn’t read the materials before he said that, but then again at least he didn’t go on for a long time extolling its virtues. The program is perhaps great stuff for evangelizing the people on “Catholicism lite,” but it isn’t of any value in learning the true Catholic faith any more than is another Paulist venture, Busted Halo.

Category: Posts imported from Danger! Falling Brainwaves, Uncategorized



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