As we continue with the first pillar of evangelization, prayer, this week we will focus on how parishes can provide more prayerful experiences.
Parishes are at the epicenter of the Catholic Church. Parishes serve as the spiritual home for the faithful and must provide tools and resources outside of weekend liturgy. I have seen some fruitful initiatives at many parishes across our Diocese and will share a few examples here.

Eucharistic Adoration: St. Teresa of Calcutta stated, “The time you spend with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the best time you will spend on Earth.” Don’t be afraid to enjoy quiet time in the presence of our Lord in adoration. It is counter-cultural to sit quietly today, yet we all yearn for this respite from today’s hustle and bustle. Come fill yourself with peace, contentment and joy.

Small faith-sharing groups: A great way to build community and provide spiritual nourishment. Members of the group build friendships while growing their relationship with Jesus. It is critical that all parishes develop small-faith sharing groups in some form where parishioners feel like they belong and join together as companions on the journey.

Lectio Divina: Is Latin for “Divine Reading” and is a practice of reading, meditating and praying over a selected Scripture. Lectio Divina can be done individually or in a group, like the above mentioned small faith-sharing groups. Any Scripture can be selected, but utilizing the upcoming weekend Gospel enables us to more personally connect with it before hearing it for the first time in Mass.

Vocation Prayer Chalice: Provided to a family to bring home for a week and placed in a highly visible, yet reverent location. The chalice is a visual reminder of the importance to pray for vocations. The chalice may specifically represent a vocation to the priesthood, but we must pray for all vocations — single, married, priesthood and religious life.

Mass: The Catholic Mass has been called the greatest and most perfect prayer of the Church by saints, popes and theologians, yet Mass attendance is at an all-time low. The beauty of the Catholic Mass seems to be unrecognized and misunderstood by many. Worldly distractions are keeping the masses from Mass. Let us pray that our liturgies are reverent, joy-filled, and recognized as a celebration in the presence of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
The Holy Rosary: As our loving mother, Mary, brings us closer to Jesus, there is no better prayer than the rosary to connect us with her. As more parishes establish set times to pray the rosary, more parishioners become less intimidated as they share in the beauty of this powerful devotion.

Stay tuned for the next column of Everyday Evangelization when we will move into the second pillar and focus on relationships.

Please contact me with any questions about boosting evangelization efforts at your parish at Thomas.Cronin@rcda.org or by visiting https://www.rcda.
org/evangelization and on instagram @tom_rcda.