By Wynn Touney
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish, but might have eternal life. John 3:16
Pope Francis repeats this powerful statement in “Evangelii Gaudium” (“The Joy of the Gospel”). Being a disciple means being constantly ready to bring the love of Jesus to others. This can happen unexpectedly and in any place – on the street, in a city square, during work and on a journey.
Responding to these statements, Joanne Craig, diocesan board treasurer, shared her participation in the 2014 National Council of Catholic Woman Convention workshop entitled “We are called to Witness.” Joanne cited it was an impressive session which featured the new program developed and completed by NCCW Board members to help each of us live out our mission – to grow spiritually, to respond with Gospel values to the needs of the church and society in the modern world and to educate all Catholic woman and men.
This extensive document is noted for the following sections:
— Finding the joy of Jesus in yourself. This component encourages members to deepen their own spirituality stressing daily prayer and highlights “The Joy of the Gospel.”
— Sharing your faith with other Catholics. As expected in a new evangelization program, how to reach out to Catholics who no longer practice their faith with various ways.
— Hospitality and welcome. The importance of welcoming and ministry of hospitality to be inclusive, welcoming everyone with love, to get over ourselves; it’s about God’s grace.
— Hearts to love and hands to serve. Ways to include evangelization in service projects and community outreach which are already a big part of church/community work.
— Holy holidays. Suggestions and ideas to pass on our Catholic faith to family members, especially children by celebrating holidays with a “holy” twist.
— Reaching out to young adults in college and beyond. Ideas and suggestions to keep young adults connected to the church, includes extensive websites resources.
— Faith-sharing in everyday life. Ways to show our faith to those around us, in our dress, in our homes, neighborhood and communities, everyone we meet.
— Social justice shows God’s love. An overview of the social teachings of the Catholic Church, how living out our call to minister and advocate for the poor and needy in sharing the care of our faith.
— Learning never ends. Excellent resources to continue personal study to include websites, books, DVDs programs, CDs blogs and suggestions for speakers.
This entire extensive document can be downloaded by going to nccw.org and scroll down to “We are called to Witness.” Please take the time to use this wonderful resource for your personal benefit and for your parish. Ask your pastor how he would like to have it used.
We are looking forward to the March 7 Women’s Conference “If You Knew the Gift of God.” The event will begin at 8 a.m. with prayer led by Bishop Walker Nickless. There will not be a Mass during the conference; the parish Mass will be at 4:30 p.m. Michele Leiting expresses a thank-you to everyone who has registered and special thanks to the Carroll Catholic Daughters of the Americas Court No. 6 for the meal preparation. She adds, that if due to circumstances you can now attend the conference, you are still welcome.
Please continue to pray and witness during the 40 Days for Life. May your Lent continue to be of challenge and comfort in God’s mercy and God’s love. Our Lady of Good Counsel, pray for us.
Wynn Touney of Fort Dodge is a member of Catholic Women of the Diocese of Sioux City.