Laity's Role in Evangelization Extends Clergy's Mission
The mission of One Bread Lay Apostolate is to spread the good news of the Catholic faith through lay evangelization and to work towards Christian unity in accordance with Christ's will that all of his followers be one (John 17: 21).
The Catholic clergy, especially because of the priest shortage the Church is experiencing in many parts of the world today, can not do it all. In Pope John Paul II's encyclical "Christifidelis Laici" he called Catholic lay people to become actively involved in fulfilling Christ's great commission to "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation" (Mk 16:15).
In this encyclical the Pope states: "Being 'members' of the Church takes nothing away from the fact that each Christian as an individual is 'unique and irrepeatable.' On the contrary, this belonging guarantees and fosters the profound sense of that uniqueness and irrepeatability, in so far as these very qualities are the source of variety and richness for the whole Church. Therefore, God calls the individual in Jesus Christ, each one personally by name. In this sense, the Lord's words 'You go into my vineyard too,' directed to the Church as a whole, come specially addressed to each member individually.
"Regardless of circumstance, all lay persons (including those who have no opportunity or possibility for collaboration in associations) are called to this type of apostolate and obliged to engage in it. Such an apostolate is useful at all times and places, but in certain circumstances it is the only one available and feasible."
Although the Pope is calling individual lay Catholics to this evangelization work, the fruits can be multiplied with the support and collaboration of the Catholic clergy. We ask bishops, priests, deacons, brothers and sisters in religious communities to help us in this effort. The following are some ways that you can help us extend your apostolic mission.
Ways the Clergy Can Support One Bread
- Make annoucements at Mass about our organization. Encourage parishioners to tell their friends and co-workers about the availability of free Catholic information from our Website at http://1bread.catholic.org. Encourage them to use some of our ideas to evangelize and organize evangelization events at the parish or in the community.
- Host an evangelization event at your parish and invite non-Catholics. Many of these ideas are available in our Catholic Lay Evangelization Plan. For example, you can do a re-enactment of a First Century Christian Worship Service based on the Liturgy of St. James and explain how the Mass has changed over the centuries. You could host a well-known Catholic speaker and invite non-Catholics as well as Catholics to come.
- Bring the Church outdoors in the public streets...rather than hide it under a bushel basket. Conduct an outdoor Palm Sunday procession or Corpus Christi procession in the center of town, for example. Jesus said "be not afraid". We as a Catholic people need to take more initiative to make Christ and his true Church known.
- Take up a second collection for One Bread at Mass once a year to help us buy the pamphlets that we give away free to thirsty souls.
- Conduct a spring cleaning of the parish grounds once a year and donate any unwanted Catholic books, art, or sacramentals to One Bread. We sell such articles in our One Bread book and gift store to raise money to buy the pamphlets that we give away free to those inquiring into the Catholic faith.
- Last but not least, pray for us. Please offer Masses and novenas for us, that One Bread's evangelization efforts will bear good fruit.
We welcome the support of our Catholic clergy, no matter how large or small, and can do so much more with it than without it. Help us help you extend your apostolic mission. And we truly appreciate all you do for Christ and his Church, though we know that sometimes you may feel taken for granted and underappreciated. May God bless you ten-fold.
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