By Liz Sullivan
SANTA CLARA – The faithful from across the Diocese of San Jose gathered at Our Lady of Peace Church on September 30 for Evangelization Day with Pastoral Teams. It was billed as Discernment Day: From Framework to Plan. The day of prayer and discussion was sponsored by the Diocese’s Office of Evangelization.
Evangelization is the preaching of the Gospel or the practice of giving information about a particular doctrine or set of beliefs to others with the intention of converting others to the Christian faith.
More than 300 people, mostly from pastoral teams from the 54 parishes in the Diocese gathered.
Father Joe Kim, Diocesan Director of Evangelization, said this event grew out of an ongoing discussion about how to get the youth of the Diocese more involved in their parishes and involved with God.
“How do you as the formators get them to be a disciple?” said Kim, whose office was created in 2014.”We shouldn’t lose sight of this; sight of who is driving this.”
Bishop Patrick J. McGrath was impressed with such a large gathering.
“I give gratitude to God for all of you, who serve with me in the Diocese of San Jose,” said McGrath. “There is a great generosity of spirit among you, and I admire you for your devotion. A gathering like this allows each of us to go stronger with our mission.”
McGrath spent the week before this event in Washington D.C. meeting with Pope Francis during his visit to the U.S. and for the canonization of Junipero Serra.
The pope, McGrath said, “stressed openness and dialogue.”
The goal of the event was to move from a framework to a specific plan based on the principles of Word, Worship and Witness. Initially, this group of pastoral teams met eight months ago at Our Lady of Refuge Parish to discuss the initial framework for Word, Worship and Witness.
Now it was time to get more specific and focused.
Pastoral teams were split up in the morning and paired with people from other parishes for the initial plan discussions. Data from these individual groups was gathered and then shared in the afternoon as pastoral teams gathered together for review and discussion.
“Ultimately this is about actions,” said Kim. “We are waiting. We are discerning. We are thinking, what are the next steps. The Catholic Church can be the catalyst for everyone in Santa Clara County, not just the Catholics.”
These pastoral teams will gather again, January 28, 2016, at Our Lady of Peace Parish for a Day of Reflection.
To learn more about what the Diocese of San Jose is doing with Evangelization, visit www.dsj.org/evangelization.