New Evangelization training set for March 4

Father Frank DeSiano, who will conduct a New Evangelization training workshop in the Camden Diocese on March 4, remembers having to dry his eyes upon seeing the beauty of the mosaics in Basilica di San Marco in Rome.

But, he noted in a recent blog post (, the importance of church buildings is secondary to “the experience of the people.” At a time when many parishes and churches are closing, the question is, “Do we want to be Church?”

“Do we want to be the living stones that create the community in which God’s spirit lives?” he asked. “Do we want to accept our call to be disciples and to build churches, not with capital campaigns and marble, but with the fervor of our own faith?”

A Paulist priest, Father DeSiano is president of Paulist Evangelization Ministries, based in Washington, D.C., and has served as a consultant for the U.S. bishops’ Committee for Evangelization for more than a dozen years.

His presentation on New Evangelization training is designed to be practical, by providing effective methods of spreading the Gospel, as well as inspirational. It will cover two themes: “The Missionary Parish” and “Becoming an Inviting Parish.”

Parishes can become static, concentrating all their energy on maintaining what they already have, rather than growing, said Andres Arango, director of the Diocese of Camden’s Office of Evangelization, which is sponsoring the program.

“We can forget our missionary call,” he said. “We need to ask, ‘What can we do to attract people to our churches?’”

If you go

New Evangelization Training, featuring guest speaker Father Frank DeSiano, CSP, will be held March 4, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., at St. Charles Borromeo Parish, Sicklerville. The event is open to pastors, parish staff, evangelization teams and parishioners. For more information call 856-583-6170 or email


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