Evangelization for Laypeople: Why is it Important?
This past Monday on August 22nd, Fr. Jim Bilot of Divine Child Parish passed out free copies of the book “Rediscovering Jesus” by Matthew Kelly. I asked Mr. Sierra, a theology teacher, about it and said that, Fr. Jim was handing out the books at a retreat held for all the Divine Child staff to attend. When he handed them out he instructed the staff members to share what they had taken away from the experience of reading the book. He also emphasized that all the staff members are “united in one community.” Though he may be referring to the community of Divine Child Parish, this may also include the Catholic Laity. The books could be part of the evangelization and the improvement of dialogue between the normal church people and God.
The author of the books, Matthew Kelly, is an active Catholic and motivational speaker as well as the founder of the organization Dynamic Catholic. The organization focuses on making an effort to bring back Catholics who have strayed from the faith. Kelly and his organization send out books that reach out to these people. Dynamic Catholic has engrossed about 17 million dollars which allows them to publish Kelly’s books and ship them out often times for free. When I asked Mr. Sierra about the author he said, “[Matthew Kelly] is so successful, and he uses his company and resources for the gain of others rather than himself.”
Evangelizing the laypeople has also become the mission of the Vatican as well. On August 17th, Pope Francis appointed Bishop Kevin Farrell as the head of the Vatican Department for the Laity, the Family and Life. The department was recently founded upon the intent of creating a congregation for the laypeople similar to that of the clergy. Comprised of three sections (Laity, Family and Life), the department will focus on educating the laypeople on teachings of the Church and encouraging the Christian lifestyle that the laypeople are called to live. (Source: America Magazine)
After all this one might ask: why is this evangelization important? The answer might come from taking a look at our own lives as Catholics and asking ourselves about whether or not we have played our part as members of the Body of Christ. Near the end of the interview, Mr Sierra stated that “If you were to walk into any given Church on a Sunday and interviewed the people, you would be astounded by the lack of knowledge of Church teaching they have.” When we think of evangelization, we think of going out to those who don’t go to church at all but maybe this Evangelization movement is for those who already go to church.