There are a variety of prepackaged programs for outreach programs to inactive Catholics. This article reviews nine programs that you might consider using or adapting for your parish. They are listed by two criteria, cost and effort (planning, volunteers, and work). Programs are tools, like a set of keys. They do not evangelize by themselves. Each of us needs to grow in our own faith in Jesus and to develop good relational evangelizing skills in order to use programs effectively.
It can be difficult to reach inactive Catholics in our parish. What if we re-envision our efforts as a journey together toward and with them, where we take the first step, the next one, and then the next? We have learned over decades that there are at least 10 steps to starting effective inactive Catholic outreach programs:
John J. Boucher is a Catholic evangelization consultant and trainer. He served for many years as the director of evangelization in the Diocese of Trenton. He has authored/co-authored over 300 religious articles and many books including, Sharing the Faith that You Love: Four Simple Ways to Be Part of the New Evangelization and Mending Broken Relationships, Building Strong Ones: Eight Ways to Love as Jesus Loves Us.
Pope Francis’ Vision is Great in Theory - But In Action, Even Better - Tom Quinlan, Diocese of Joliet
This is a follow-up post to my broad reflection on Pope Francis’ trip to the United States last week. The following is an email message I sent to catechetical leaders in our diocese, offering a strategy and a tactic for a narrow slice of parish life. While the focus is on child and youth formation ministry, I would assert that there is a strong evangelizing element here, as we reach out to marginal parishioner families and non-parishioners.
In the light of Pope Francis’ visit to the United States last week, I would like to invite you to consider the following action steps. I offer them knowing that these weeks are some of the busiest of our catechetical year. Nonetheless, please take a moment to ponder them prayerfully and what they might mean for your ministry.
Please comment below with your suggestions for turning the Pope Francis momentum into concrete action steps for evangelization and renewal. The sharing is so valuable. (The first comment here in the diocese was from an RCIA director who has reached out to her list of former candidates and catechumens who didn’t complete the process previously. Already, one woman is coming back…along with her sister!)