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FOCUS on New Evangelization

2 Nov

Curtis Martin with Cardinal Dolan at Synod on the New Evangelization

My long-time friend Curtis Martin, the founder and president of the Denver-based Fellowship of Catholic University Students (“FOCUS”) was a participant at the recent Synod on the New Evangelization in Rome. Here is the short, but powerful, message (or “intervention”) that he gave at the Synod:

“I find it helpful to understand the New Evangelization as a means to fulfilling the central theme of Vatican II, the universal call to holiness.

The Catholic laity must accept their co-responsibility to evangelize. In my work with university students we have used a simple three-step process to form disciples: Win, Build, Send.

Win: We who have encountered Jesus must go out and love people, because Christ first loved us. In the midst of our friendships with them, we introduce them to our greatest friend, Jesus.

Build: Once they have encountered Jesus, we build them up in the knowledge and practice of the faith. There is a crisis of faith and many Catholics have not embraced the teachings of the Church; they do not know that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist, or about the inerrancy of Sacred Scripture. They have not accepted the difficult teachings, such as Humanae Vitae. Without the fullness of Catholic faith, authentic renewal is impossible. We must be transformed.

Send: As these young disciples grow in their practice of the faith, they are sent out, with our continued care, to begin the process anew. Holiness will take a lifetime, but the work of evangelization can begin shortly after an authentic encounter with Jesus; think of the Samaritan woman at the well.

Here are some of the benefits of discipleship:

(1) Everyone can do this, it is universal.
(2) This is based upon friendship; therefore everyone involved is known, loved, and cared for.
(3) Evangelized people discern their vocations.
(4) The exponential power of this biblical model is unmatched in its ability to reach the world.
Jesus told us: “It is to the glory of my Father that you should bear much fruit and be my disciples” (John 15:8).