Back. Sorry for the long blogging vacation.
The book manuscript on parish-based evangelization is done. I sent it to my editor at Our Sunday Visitor last week. The original plan was publication this June but we'll see.
Since I only had 5 months to get it done, I worked 12 + hours a day, 7 days a week except for Christmas and when I was already scheduled to be on the road. So, no time for blogging.
Here's a taste from Chapter 3 "The Weight of My Neighbor's Glory"
The presence of a significant number of disciples changes everything: a parish’s spiritual tone, energy level, attendance, bottom line, and what parishioners ask of their leaders.
Disciples pray with passion. Disciples worship. Disciples love the Church and serve her with energy and joy. Disciples give lavishly. Disciples hunger to learn more about their faith. Disciples fill every formation class in the parish or diocese. Disciples manifest charisms and discern vocations. They clamor to discern God’s call because they long to live it. Disciples evangelize because they have really good news to share. Disciples share their faith with their children. Disciples care about the poor and about issues of justice. Disciples take risks for the Kingdom of God.
The Holy Spirit is planting charisms and vocations of amazing diversity in the hearts of all his people. Like the graces of the sacrament, they are real but they are not magic. Just as the gifts of children must be fostered deliberately and with great energy by parents if their children are to reach their full potential, so vocations must be fostered by the Church. In this area, we are not asking for too much, we are settling for too little. God is not asking us to call forth the gifts and vocations of a few people; he is asking us to call forth the gifts and vocations of millions. Our problem is not that there is a shortage of vocations but that we do not have the support systems and leadership in place to foster the vast majority of the vocations that God has given us. Most fundamentally, when we fail to call our own to discipleship, we are unwittingly pushing away the vast majority of the vocations God has given us.