The Bob & Jody Hallerman Family
The John and Maureen Abdo family.
Mark & Julieann Skvarla
Miguel and Christina Acosta
Why the New Evangelization May Flop
The call for a New Evangelization is a desperately needed initiative especially when it is directed at baptized Catholics who are secularized and distant from the Faith. A serious hemorrhage of Catholics, especially youth and young adults, is due to what St. John Paul II termed an “invasive secularism.” Yet, the New Evangelization may be a flop when it comes to evangelizing families.
Key to the long-term success of an evangelistic effort that results in widespread cultural transformation is the targeting of specific “people-groups” (a term used in missions and in evangelistic planning) that are keys for the conversion of others. In other words, instead of trying to evangelize everyone, the focus is put upon those who in turn will be instrumental in the conversions and reversions of others. As far as I can tell, the key “people-group” for the New Evangelization of families has yet to be identified, namely fathers.
Yes, it’s encouraging that we now have annual Catholic men’s conferences in many places, but that’s a long way from a full-court, year-long, and multi-faceted effort at evangelizing fathers.
The Southern Baptists, who are effective evangelizers, published these remarkable results from research done by their church resource division:
• If a child is the first in the family to become a Christian, there’s a
3.7 percent probability that the rest of the family will become Christians
• If mom is the first in the family to become a Christian, there’s a
17 percent probability that the rest of the family will follow
• If dad is the first in the family to become a Christian, there’s a
93 percent probability that everyone else in the family will follow his lead
Bishop’s Radio Hour Interview with Bob Dunning, 4-29-2014
“These Graces Were No Accident“
May 22, 2008
After Car Wreck in Austria, Family Gives Thanks to St. Faustina
David Leatherby Jr. is driving. His son, Jeremy, is in the passenger’s seat, asleep. His daughter, Kimberly, is asleep on the backseat.
It’s the middle of the night. They’re on a highway in the middle of a foreign country.
Exhausted from several days pilgrimage in Rome, Mr. Leatherby, too, starts dozing off. Suddenly, to his horror, he sees that his rental car is about to slam into the back of an 18-wheeler. He turns the wheel, but it isn’t enough. The bumper of the truck shears through the right side of the car.
When the car finally comes to a stop at the edge of the highway median, Mr. Leatherby turns to look at Jeremy. His son’s face has been badly disfigured, and he’s bleeding profusely. Kimberly is OK.
Mr. Leatherby pulls his son out from the passenger’s seat and cradles him in his arms. You spend your entire life as a parent doing everything you can to raise your kids and protect them and keep them safe, and in one moment….