In this interesting webinar Fr James Mallon, Nicky Gumbel and special guests debate the question, what is a Catholic Parish Church for?
They argue that Evangelisation must be the Primary, Pre-eminent, and Preferential parish activity.
These were words used by John Paul II when speaking of the New Evangelization, new in its ardour, methods and expression.
John Paul II renewed the call to all of the Christian faithful to evangelize in the spirit of the Second Vatican Council.
Fr Mallon speaks about this being a critical moment in the churches history where we need to look outwards to share our faith with others who are searching for the Lord.
Fr Mallon reaffirms that mission is about going out and that the pandemic has created amazing innovation through the prism of the internet and what we need to guard against is that when this is over, we don’t lose the innovation and just regurgitate the old in a new format.
Nick Gumbel speaks enthusiastically about how some communities have been innovative and used technology to reach out to people who in the past would have been hard to reach (People who might never go near a church).
He equated this new use of technology to the invention of the printing press, which for the first time enabled ordinary people to read the word of God.
He speaks enthusiastically about his experience of using Alpha online and the testimonies of people whose lives have been transformed as a result.
The presenters urge us to think about how we as a faith community can meet the challenges that face us. One commentator expressed this by saying that we are called to get out of the boat and meet Jesus even though a storm is blowing.
I encourage you to watch this webinar and perhaps think about the following questions;
In what ways is St Clements looking outwards?
The title of the diocesan mission this Easter session is invited . How are we inviting people into the life of the church?
Is all that we do focused on evangelisation. If the answer is no, what are the barriers ? What do we need to do to make this a reality?