November 19, 2010

Catholic Evangelization Outreach / Ron Greulich

Christian spirituality, stewardship and evangelization

Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein once wrote, “Christian spirituality and stewardship and evangelization are all interrelated.”

So many priests and lay leaders in the archdiocese have embraced stewardship as a way of life in Christ, and reach out daily to evangelize their communities.

As we approach this time of special Thanksgiving to God, let me gratefully share a few examples of people who are truly reaching out in special ways to bring others closer to Christ.

St. Ann Parish in Terre Haute is located in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the state, but there you will see remarkable examples of Catholic stewards reaching out to bring daily assistance to their neighbors.

Parishioners throughout the deanery come to this neighborhood to minister and support a homeless shelter, soup kitchens, the “Christmas House,” a dental clinic, food bank, medical clinic and youth center. They truly know how to exercise the ministry of charity in the Terre Haute deanery.

In another part of our archdiocese, Father James Wilmoth, the pastor of St. Roch Parish in Indianapolis, can be seen each morning welcoming children to the parish school.

Can you imagine how special these children must feel to be met so kindly each day by their priest? Might they want to consider doing the same for others some day? What a wonderful, joy-filled way to proclaim the word of God.

At a recent “Christ Our Hope” commitment weekend, all three parishes that make up the Richmond Catholic Community came together for a single weekend Mass in their new gym at Seton Catholic High School.

What made their celebration of the Mass even more special was, on this weekend, that instead of passing a collection basket, parishioners came forward to the altar to place their offerings and pledges of time and talent before God. What a wonderful way to encourage all those present to take a step forward in faith.

During the recent “40 Days for Life” prayer vigil in front of an Indianapolis Planned Parenthood abortion mill, one priest and about 10 of his parishioners prayed all 20 decades of the rosary each Friday. God rewarded their efforts greatly.

When normally only one baby might be “saved” in a month’s time, on these Fridays alone, two, three and four babies were saved. Ah, the power of prayer—something we all can do! Who wouldn’t want to take part in such miracles?

Another pastor shared how he recently presented the bishops’ voter’s guide to his parishioners before the election. He was somewhat surprised when he received a standing ovation. People are yearning to be taught the truths of our Catholic faith. With courage, we, too, can proclaim the Good News to others.

Father Joseph Pesola, the pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Fortville, celebrates Mass each Sunday at a nearby correctional facility for teenage boys. While most of these boys are not Catholic, others go there as well to share Scripture and to pray the rosary weekly. Could this be your gift as well—to reach out to those who are imprisoned?

We are grateful to these folks and so many others throughout our archdiocese—the many unsung heroes—who proclaim the word of God, celebrate the sacraments and faithfully reach out to others in need.

God made each of us with unique talents and for a special purpose. Our most effective method of evangelization is when, as faithful stewards, we use those talents to fulfill the purpose for which he has created us.

(Ron Greulich is archdiocesan director of Stewardship Education. His e-mail address is

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