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Press Release

For September 2008
Diocesan publications / websites

Multi-Media Resources To Help Set Up Parish Evangelisation Teams

Cutting edge multi-media resources are being offered to every parish this September in support of the setting up of local evangelisation teams.

Every parish will be sent an Evangelisation DVD which has been produced by Catholic Evangelisation Services (creators of CaFE) in collaboration with the Catholic Agency to Support Evangelisation (CASE); it is titled ‘Alive in Christ – Making Mission Possible in Your Parish’. The DVD covers many areas, such as mission inside and outside the parish, to the youth, evangelisation by serving the poor and in the power of the Holy Spirit. Parishes are also being invited to send representatives to regional evangelisation training days which will take place between January – April 2009.

The release of the materials is timed to coincide with Home Mission Sunday (21st September 2008) which is a day of prayer for the spread of the Gospel in England and Wales; this year’s theme is: 'Job For Life: Equipping Parishes For Home Mission'. Parishes are invited to have an annual collection on this day to support CASE’s work as an agency of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales; the agency is part-funded by this optional collection and relies on diocesan support.

Mgr Keith Barltrop, Director of CASE, said: "It would be wonderful, if as a fruit of Home Mission Sunday, every parish felt enabled to build on what they’re already doing by taking a new and concrete step towards becoming a more evangelistic community. All we need is to be willing to make a start, to take a baby step so to speak, perhaps through attending one of the regional evangelisation training days. In faith we rely on God's generosity and power that He will show us the way and provide the opportunity and means to be effective labourers in the vineyard."     

The Gospel for the 21st is the Parable of the Labourers in the Vineyard (Mt 20:1-16); it provides a reminder that God calls unlikely people to the work of evangelisation at different times. Lay people, in collaboration with the clergy and religious, are very especially called to engage in this work in their daily lives and entrust to God the fruitfulness of their efforts.

The hope is that this year every member of the Catholic Community will grow in awareness that they have a job for life – to evangelise - which is both their duty but also a life-giving and freeing activity. The Church teaches that the task of evangelisation is not something which burdens but frees.

Homily notes, bidding prayers, a children's liturgy sheet, information about the latest evangelisation initiatives, the CASE newsletter and tips about how to set up a parish evangelisation team can be downloaded from www.caseresources.org.uk. SMS technology will also support this year’s initiative. Type ‘TEAM’ to 81025 to receive additional help.   

David Payne, Director of Catholic Evangelisation Services, said: “This initiative has been taken in response to feedback from parishes made to both CASE and CaFE. It highlighted that whilst there is no lack of enthusiasm for home mission, many feel ill-equipped to reach out to people. We hope that the DVD, online and printed resources, and the training days that are going to be offered, will give parishioners the confidence they need to reach out to people.”

For more information please see: http://www.caseresources.org.uk and / or tel. (until 26th Sept): 0208 458 3316. Tel. (after 29th Sept): 0207 901 4863.
E-mail:mailto:[email protected]



For interviews and more information please contact Clare Ward at CASE.
E-mail: [email protected]
Tel: 0770 939 1998
A photograph of the icon which will feature on the Home Mission Sunday leaflet is available on request.

Quotations from bishops and one administrator can be found below.
“As Christians we are not called to be hostile to the world we live in, but we are under an obligation to live and manifest the treasure of the Gospel we have been entrusted with. If we experience opposition, misunderstanding and marginalisation because of the way we live and share our faith, we are probably doing well, precisely because of the contrast between God's ways of doing things and what comes naturally to human beings.  But as a Catholic Community, we need to be supported and equipped to enable us to be effective evangelisers. To that end, I encourage you to set up a parish team, attend a regional training day and to use the DVD provided."
Bishop Malcolm McMahon, Nottingham Diocese; Chair of the Department for Evangelisation and Catechesis

“Home Mission Sunday reminds us that proclaiming the Good News is at the heart of what the Church is for. To be fully Christ’s Church, each parish must be an evangelising community, going out to work in Christ’s name in his vineyard. This is more likely to happen if there are dedicated teams of people in every parish formed and trained for mission, people who will inspire and enable their fellow parishioners to go out to others with the Gospel. The training and resources provided by CASE and CaFE will help to equip and support you for this vital labour in the vineyard of the Lord.”
Bishop Michael Evans, East Anglia

“As the Catholic Church in Lancashire and Cumbria, we have been commissioned to spread the Gospel in our part of the land. Being fit for the mission of the Lord is never easy, but united in prayer this Home Mission Sunday, and with the regional training that is being offered, we can learn what it is to be effective evangelisers in the world of today. I would ask you to attend a regional training day and to use the special DVD provided.”
Bishop Patrick O'Donoghue, Lancaster

“LACE has become well known on Merseyside and beyond. It is not intricate cloth, but the Liverpool Archdiocesan Centre for Evangelisation. I deliberately used the word evangelisation to cover everything that takes place in the buildings. It includes the labours of those involved in ensuring the economic, legal challenges facing any charity, those skilled in the proper maintenance of buildings. Some relate to public authorities in matters of schools and colleges; a religious education department, and one for pastoral formation is based there and an office for ‘Justice and Peace’. It also houses a conference centre used by very many beyond the diocesan family: health services, magistrates, policies services, among many. And all that complexity of activity reveals the complexity which is authentic evangelisation. It is a place of conversation, inter-face, hospitality, rigorous research and detailed documentation. So must be the meeting between the Word and the Flesh in our day.”
Archbishop Patrick Kelly, Liverpool

“As many of you will know I went around the diocese during Lent and early Eastertide on a ‘sounding-out’ mission. The word ‘Evangelisation’ was one I heard not infrequently. I feel that so many of us are becoming more and more aware of the genuine treasure that we possess even though, as we know, it is in earthenware jars! Our brothers and sisters are crying out for something to give meaning and motivation to their lives. We know that it is not a ‘something’ but a ‘someone’, Jesus Christ. Home Mission Sunday is an annual reminder and a catalyst to help us reflect on our baptismal calling to be prophets and preachers of our faith. There is no true evangelisation if the name, the teaching, the life, the promises, the kingdom and the mystery of Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, are not proclaimed.[1]It would be good if every parish in our diocese had a person or group of people who would constantly remind us that The whole Church is missionary and the work of evangelisation is the work of the whole people of God.[2]”
Bishop Terence Drainey, Middlesbrough

[1] Evangelii Nuntiandi  22
[2] Ad Gentes 35

"We are lucky in Hexham and Newcastle, for the last few years due to the leadership of Bishops Ambrose and Kevin, evangelisation has taken a high profile in our diocese. We have a Diocesan Team of priests and lay people who have organised diocesan events (Evangelisation Made Easy) in five areas followed by Spiritual, Scriptural and Cultural Days. All this by way of laying foundations, raising awareness and scattering seeds."

Individual deaneries are now being targeted. How opportune then that CASE is producing resources for Home Mission Sunday that come just at the right time. Several parishes are looking for concrete, practical training materials so I encourage them to take advantage of the resources offered and to attend the regional training events."

"Our evangelising aim in this diocese has always been to bring our own faith alive and to take practical steps to share it with others according to our circumstances and gifts. To paraphrase Churchill, CASE has given us the tools; let us now do the job."
Canon Seamus Cunningham, Diocesan Administrator