During the past month, the Diocese of Camden’s Office of Evangelization sponsored three workshops on “Families and the New Evangelization” for pastors, pastoral associates, parish evangelization teams, and parish staff to learn practical tools on how their communities can better evangelize families, so, in turn, families can become evangelizers of the faith.
The three workshops, at St. Charles Borromeo, Sicklerville; St. Joseph, Somers Point; and Our Lady of Peace, Williamstown were all facilitated by Caroline Gambale-Dirkes, who has been active in evangelization and youth ministry for 23 years, speaking internationally at numerous diocesan rallies, retreats, and conferences.
In her presentation, which included video clips, Gambale-Dirkes emphasized the “A.C.T.S. of Evangelization”:
—Attract and market the faith to families, with social events such as Summer Movie Night or a Potluck Dinner;
— Catechize and
— Transform, through a parish mission or family retreat; and
— Send Forth, in identifying and developing future parish leaders, or providing opportunities to share faith experiences.
The three “dynamic” evenings, according to Andres Arango, diocesan director of Evangelization, had a total of 90 participants, from 27 diocesan parishes. Attendees, now, are “excited to apply (what they’ve learned) in their own parishes,” he said.