Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Week 13: Expect Conversion

This post links to RAnn's Sunday Snippets 

 Week 13; y'all go see other peoples' responses here.

Have you ever felt isolated in your quest to follow Jesus?

Umm, no. Never. I simply can't imagine such a thing. My world would have to be upside down for that to happen.

What are ways you have built a community of spiritual companions?

I live in the Bible Belt where lots of Catholics tend to be fired-up. My wife and I are friends with so many like-minded Catholics that last time we had a Christmas party for them (2011), we had to throw two parties to invite all hundred or so of them. We meet more at parish breakfasts, parties, lectures, after Mass, on the internet, workshops, lifechain, KofC's easy. For example, I just got back from a parish catechists' workshop, where I sat with a married couple. The husband will be the bouncer in my 6th-grade class, and his wife will teach third grade. I asked them right away if they were cradles or converts; they had converted from the Southern Baptist denomination a few years ago. We discussed their faith journey, their dissatisfaction with "Bible churches" they'd attended, their RCIA experience, why they converted to Catholicism in particular, why they were at our parish, how Catholicism suited them, their motivations and expectations for catechizing, etc. Then we talked with a cradle Catholic preschool catechist from Michigan, who commented on the number of proselytizers who came to her door. We discussed seeing those visits as evangelizing opportunities, and I said that preparing my 6th-graders to evangelize is a big part of class. Finally I invited them all to give the monthly parish breakfast a try: it's affordable, restaurant-quality food with a wide selection of dishes, and a chance to experience some Catholic Fellowship (yikes!) and plug into the parish family. It was a very agreeable and affirming evening- and not at all unusual.

You’ve put a lot of energy over the course of this study into learning about the need for evangelization and discipleship, and how to fulfill that need. Do you plan to take action? In what way?

I know this will make me sound like a smug spoilsport, but evangelization has been my second job since about 1998.

And regarding the post (and chapter) title: yeah, I expect conversion. I see it all the time.