Two secrets to RCIA evangelization — smile at strangers and buy a van

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8 thoughts on “Two secrets to RCIA evangelization — smile at strangers and buy a van”

  1. It seems that most Catholics, especially the elderly ones, think it is disrespectful or sinful to smile or greet each other in Church. Most sit quietly and stare straight ahead in an effort to be “holy”. I find myself always asking, “Where is the Joy?” I personally can’t stop smiling when I enter my Father’s House and am called to the Presence of my Beloved Lord. The Holy Spirit has His job cut out for Him.

  2. I want to affirm Nick’s suggestion of picking up folks who need a ride. One of our sponsors picks up a candidate who does not have a car. Not only does it allow him participate in our initiation sessions on Tuesday night, it “gets him out” of his apartment and into a community. In other words, it helps with loneliness, too. And, brings some joy – a shout out to the above comment!

  3. I think it was actually Nick who mentioned one time that a really good way to evangelize is to scoot in and make room at the end of the pew, so that those arriving after you don’t have to ask your permission to come in and sit down.

    1. I agree with Judith McRae. Just last Sunday we had to climb over several people to get to two spaces remaining in the pew. All pews were filled due to a special Santo Nino celebration. The people frowned at us as we asked to pass them in order to get the two remaining seats. Mass had not started so we were not late. They just gave us the impression we were not welcome. I am very involved in this parish but every so often go to a different Mass that is not RCIA. Looks like we have to do some training of some of our parishioners. Good thing I wasn’t a person considering becoming a Catholic!!

    2. I always head for the center of the pew and recently asked our diocesan RCIA catechists both to do the same and to ask their candidates and catechumens to do so. It could change our church “atmosphere” if more of us made this our practice!

  4. I total agree with people in their first time coming to church, I move into a new parish couple years ago, it’s an old parish not a new church only one English Mass on Sunday. I move from big community with registered members more that 10,000 its a multi-cultural and very involve in the community. I was observed ask question and listen to members why they don’t have a lots of people coming into the English Mass and the response is there’s not that many events in English only Spanish community they more like own the parish. Now I registered in the Parish for couple of years now we’re trying to put together a Parish Council. Now I do a welcome before the Mass I ask if we have any visitors and welcome the in our Liturgy and everyone please say good morning into your sister or your brother next to you. Now we start increase the attendants of our Mass.

    1. Judith Lynne Reid McRae

      Malia, this is really great – you saw a problem and instead of complaining, you decided to be the solution – this is the attitude we all need to imitate. 🙂

  5. Oddly, the advice to be more welcoming for evangelization coincides with what an FBI security speaker told us to do in this age of terrorist lone shooters. If someone is acting suspiciously or trying to conceal a weapon we should walk up to them and engage them in conversation confidently. It may throw them off their game and cause them to have second thoughts about their mission. I think it sort of destroys the “us vs. them” mentality.

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