Connect and Engage: An Evangelization Tool for Parishes

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Burton, Evelyn Sue
Master of Arts in Pastoral Theology
We are called to evangelize, to go out and make disciples, not to host an event and hope someone wonders into our midst. As Catholics, we have not done a very good job of promoting the riches of our Catholic faith and tradition, nor the opportunities that we provide for our Catholic brothers and sisters to nourish their spirit. We need to become better at utilizing those resources in the secular world that can build and promote our Church. Information and technology in and of themselves are not bad, how we choose to use them is what determines whether they are good or bad. In short, we need to do a better job of marketing what we have to offer and find ways to connect to people utilizing those means that reach them such as Twitter and Facebook, for example. If you look at the definition for marketing and evangelization, the goals are virtually the same: to reach out to individuals and help them identify a need and then show them how this particular offering can fill that need. As Catholics, we struggle with evangelization, whether it is within the Church or without. If we want to build our parishes, or in some cases just maintain them, we must do a better job of promoting what we have to offer as a Church. We must connect to our people and engage them in more active participation of parish life.