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Outreach to Parishes

Updated: Mar 6

Outreach Ministries to Dioceses & Parishes

Outreach To Parishes

Along the Road to Emmaus, Jesus began walking with the two disciples, listening at first to their story, asking questions, and listening for their responses.

Only then ... after walking, questioning, and listening, did Jesus share God’s the Scriptures with them, enlighten them, and correct their misunderstandings. Only then ... did they want to spend even more time with Him. Only then ... when He entered into relationship with them, did they invite Jesus to stay the night and break bread with them. Only then ... did they recognize Him as their Jesus! This is the very same Jesus, we are called to bring to others each time we accompany others on their journey. And how do we do this? We do this under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and we do this using the Spiritual Gifts given to each of us by the Holy Spirit! Jesus invites you and me to enter into relationship with others in the same way He did. And we have the power of the Holy Spirit and the Catholic resources for discipleship the Spirit gives to us to help us do this.

"Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ … And he gave some as apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers, to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ." (1 Peter 4:10-11)

What do we say when someone is grieving? What do we do when someone is hurting?

God teaches us what we are to say and do, with His Holy Spirit prompting us throughout our day whether or not we realize it. The Holy Spirit has anointed us with amazing spiritual gifts--gifts that are far more powerful than our innate talents and skills. These gifts are actually the anointing of the Holy Spirit. We all have them and God wants us to discover our spiritual gifts, learn about them, and use them intentionally to serve others, revealing Jesus to them as we use our gifts for they are a manifestation of His Spirit. Missionary Discipleship demands that we not only uncover our spiritual gifts, called charisms, but more importantly that we come to use our gifts intentionally in our missionary walk with others, along the road to Emmaus. And just as Jesus did, we proclaim the Kingdom of God, the Life, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus, to all those we encounter along the path of our daily lives. God bestows charisms on us as spiritual "tools" for this missionary walk to bring Christ to the world and the world to Christ! The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us: "Life in the Holy Spirit fulfills the vocation of man ... It is graciously offered as salvation" [#1699] We are further reminded that: "Those who obey the prompting of the Spirit of truth are already on the way of salvation" [CCC 851] This is incredibly good news! Yet, how many Catholics, sitting in the pews every Sunday, do not know this truth. Most Catholics sitting in the pews on Sunday, those involved in parish ministries and even ministry leaders have never been given the opportunity to uncover their spiritual gifts. Yet, we all have spiritual gifts, as St. Paul tells us: "To each is given a manifestation of the Spirit for some benefit" (1 Cor 12:7) Dynamic parishes function with many gifted leaders, ministries, and ordinary Catholics. However, as noted above, few can identify their spiritual gifts by name. Charism discernment helps people label their spiritual gifts. It gives life and excitement when people realize that their grace-filled interactions with others are their spiritual gifts at work in them. Discerning their spiritual gifts and learning about the gifts of others, breathes life into a parish -- the Life of the Holy Spirit. Discernment of spiritual gifts enables parishes to personally invite people to place their spiritual gifts at the service of the Church. In Novo Millenio Ineunte (2000), St. John Paul II challenged Catholics to "put out into the deep" to transform parishes into Schools of Prayer, Holiness, Communion, and Evangelization. To respond to this challenge we must realize that we will only be successful if we go out under the Anointing of the Holy Spirit with His Spiritual Gifts as the tools for our missionary work in the Church. In this way, we will proclaim the Kingdom of God as Jesus did and as He commanded us to do when He told the disciples to "wait" for the anointing of the Holy Spirit. We don't have to wait, for the Holy Spirit has already anointed us to go!

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