6602 Normandy Lane
Madison, WI 53719
Clara was one of the great army of unchurched Catholics, those deprived of the life of faith by parents who baptized them for the sake of the grandparents, then never went back to church again. Clara expected to continue her life in college guided by the same worldly values. She had no interest in church whatsoever.
Then Clara met young people formed by the Evangelical Catholic. They befriended her and enthusiastically invited her to church. This came naturally to them, because Christ and his Church were an important part of their lives. More critical still these young Catholics had been formed to have such conversations in a non-threatening, non-coercive and respectful way.
Clara at first responded incredulously. Who were these Catholics who acted as though God is real and the Church a joy? Because she liked them (they seemed kinder, more interested in her than many others she met, and fun), she came to Mass a few times.
God had plans for Clara, plans executed through her peers. She came back to church even without her friends. She talked with them about what it means to be part of our faith, about Jesus. She met other students in the faith community. Ultimately, she wanted that community for herself. She not only received first Eucharist and was confirmed during college, but became an evangelist herself, reaching out to others as those young people had reached out to her.
This is how the new evangelization will happen: through a renewed and heightened love of Christ and his Church, and the joyful overflow of the Holy Spirit this brings. This is truly the work of the people of God, and the Evangelical Catholic rejoices to be part of it.