The mission of this commission is simple…to know Jesus and to make Him known.
The commission’s work supports the work of evangelization. Our ministry exists to deepen the faith of our current parishioners, to reach inactive Catholics as well as non-Catholics who may be interested in learning more about our faith.
Seeking New Members
“Evangelization is the proclamation of Christ by word and by testimony of life.” – Lumen Gentium, 35
Do you think “evangelization” is something reserved only for other Christians? If you do, you are mistaken.
Jesus’s last words to his disciples in Matthew’s Gospel were:
““ Go, therefore, make disciples of all nations;
baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you.
And look, I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.” – Matthew 28:19-20
The Evangelization Commission is currently seeking new members. We are looking for people who have a deep sense of their own faith and wish to share it with others through their words and actions. If you think that God might be calling you to become involved in ministry and this sounds like something in which you are interested, please call Annemarie Mattia 908-722-7222 or send an email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Women’s Prayer Group
Hello from the Evangelization Commission!
We are starting a new column called Everyday Evangelization. This column will run twice a month in the bulletin and on our webpage.
The column may include a current news item, a scripture reflection or some other more pragmatic piece of information. Our goal is to provide you with some food for thought and show you that “evangelizing” can be simpler and easier than you may think. We hope you will look forward reading our column.
Everyday Evangelization January 25, 2015 Article:
As we grow more and more in our relationship with God, we will want to speak God’s name and tell the great things God has done for us. We will, like Mary, find ways to proclaim the mercy, strength and power of God. We will know in the depths of our being, what Mary knew, that God keeps a promise of love to all generations.
Evangelization is the work of God in the Church. When we speak of evangelizing, we are not necessarily speaking about standing on a street corner with a megaphone and proclaiming the name of Jesus. Instead, we are talking about sharing our faith in Christ with those whom God gives us in our lives, telling the great truth of God’s love for us. Evangelizing can be a normal part of any relationship. Above all, when we share our faith journey and invite others to share theirs, we need to have an attitude of openness and receptive listening. We do not manipulate or convert the other person but rather welcome that individual’s story.
Attitude is so important when we invite others. It is not our responsibility to “save” the other person or control the outcome of the invitation. If , however, we come to the situation with an attitude that we have something wonderful that we want to share and our hearts are burning to share it, our message of love will be more easily heard. Our call is to share the invitation; the response is up to the other person and to God’s action.
Everyday Evangelization January 11, 2015 Article:
Jesus calls us to share the Good News of his love for us with others. Such a call involves more than human effort. Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to us to enable us and to give us the courage to continue speaking his Word.
We are God’s voice in the world. In a very real sense, we are called to be little words of God. Speaking God’s message as best we can is often a formidable task. Choosing words carefully and honestly can demand tremendous energy. Being sensitive and alert to people who are in pain and eager for God’s love is a never-ending task for a follower of Christ. Jesus said, however, “I will not leave you orphans” (John 14-18).
The Spirit lives within us, empowering us to speak as God’s instruments, witnessing to the truth. We must be ever watchful for opportunities to share with others the wonders that God has done for us.
Everyday Evangelization December 28, 2014 Article:
DARE TO BELIEVE
Readiness to share faith begins with a confidence in God that flows from our own encounters with Jesus. This means that we can prepare ourselves to evangelize by exploring the history of our relationships with God and the conversion experiences we have had. Whether your spiritual journey has been fruitful or difficult, we know that the Holy Spirit is always beckoning you to come closer as a disciple of Jesus. So we invite you to stop and reflect on how God has been present or absent in your life. Record your discoveries in a notebook, or in an online journal. If you already keep a journal, look back on old entries and watch for God’s intervention. When you are finished with either one, thank God for the encouraging details you notice.
– “When You Notice the Empty Pews,” John & Therese Boucher
Everyday Evangelization October 12, 2014 Article:
There can be a fine line between service that leads to God and service for our own glory or satisfaction. This fine line and a healthy reality check are at the heart of Paul’s message to the Corinthians: “We are God’s co-workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.”
It happens all the time. People tend to remember charismatic leaders and insightful teachers for their gifts. We all like to be remembered in such a positive light. But the key question is whether people remember us because we bring them closer to God in Christ.
We must regularly ask: Who are we, after all? With Paul, we answer: “Ministers through whom others become believers.”
~ Hosffman Ospino (As printed in “Give Us This Day” September 3, 2014)
Everyday Evangelization October 12, 2014 Article:
Informal and Unexpected Preaching
Do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say.
You will be given at that moment what you are to say.
Today, as the church seeks to experience a profound missionary renewal, there is a kind of preaching which falls to each of us as a daily responsibility. It has to do with bringing the Gospel to the people we meet, whether they be our neighbors or complete strangers. This is the informal preaching which takes place in the middle of a conversation, something along the lines of what a missionary does when visiting a home. Being a disciple means being constantly ready to bring the love of Jesus to others, and this can happen unexpectedly and in any place: on the street, in a city square, during work, on a journey.
In this preaching, which is always respectful and gentle, the first step is personal dialogue, when the other person speaks and shares his or her joys, hopes and concerns for loved ones, or so many heartfelt needs. Only afterwards is it possible to bring up God’s Word, perhaps by reading a Bible verse or relating a story, but always keeping in mind the message; the personal love of God who became man, who gave Himself up for us, who is living and who offers us his salvation and his friendship. This message has to be shared humbly as a testimony on the part of one who is always willing to learn, in the awareness that the message is so rich and so deep that it always exceeds our grasp. At times, the message can be presented directly, at times by way of personal witness or gesture, or in a way which the Holy Spirit may suggest in that particular situation…
This is always a slow process and we can be overly fearful. But if we allow doubts and fears to dampen our courage, instead of being creative, we will remain comfortable and make no progress whatsoever. In this case, we will not take an active part in historical processes, but become mere onlookers as the Church gradually stagnates.
Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium
As printed in “Our Daily Bread”, July 11, 2014
Everyday Evangelization May 4, 2014 Article:
The Horizon of God’s Spirit
“Aspire to proclaim the Gospel…so that those who have never been told of Him shall see and those who have never heard of Him shall understand.
Evangelizing is the Church’s mission. It is not the mission of only a few, but it is mine, yours and our mission. The Apostle Paul exclaimed: ‘Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel!’ (1 Cor 9:16). We must all be evangelizers, especially with our life! Paul VI stressed that ‘Evangelizing is…the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity. She exists in order to evangelize’ (Evangelii Nuntiandi, n.14).
Who is the real driving force of evangelization in our life and in the Church? Paul VI wrote clearly: ‘it is the Holy Spirit who today, just as at the beginning of the Church, acts in every evangelizer who allows himself to be possessed and led by him. The Holy Spirit predisposes the soul of the hearer to be open and receptive to the Good News and to the Kingdom being proclaimed’ (Evangelii Nuntiandi, n.75). To evangelize, therefore, it is necessary to open ourselves once again to the horizon of God’s Spirit, without being afraid of what He asks us or of where He leads us. Let us entrust ourselves to Him! He will enable us to live out and bear witness to our faith, and will illuminate the heart of those we meet…” – Pope Francis, General Audience, May 22, 2013
Everyday Evangelization April 27, 2014 Article:
Unfortunately, some people mistakenly believe that they have to run off and join a monastery in order to organize their lives by faith. Others simply say, “that’s not the real world we live in” and just don’t even begin the journey.
Nothing is farther from the truth! God calls us according to our state in life and invites us to live as a sign of the realest of all worlds; the Kingdom of God. While it is true that some have experienced dramatic and life-altering conversions, God tends to meet us in the real and ordinary lives we lead and He gives us what we need to continue to live those lives, but in a new and transforming way!
St. Therese of Lisieux summed this principle up when she said,
“Life is a process of transforming our nothingness into fire.”
You can become this fire not only in the monastery but also in the marketplace of the “real” world.
– “The Universal Call to Holiness and Personal Vocation”, Rev. Msgr. Joseph Celano in collaboration with the St. Bernard Pastoral Council
Everyday Evangelization April 13, 2014 Article:
We are called to be stewards of the Good News, first, and then stewards and practitioners of the ways that the Good News can be shared with the world around us. We are called like a lamp on a lamp-stand. God will guide us as we concentrate on what is needed in order to offer prayer, Christ-centered caring, faith stories and invitations to help one another live the Gospel together.
“There is nothing more beautiful than to be surprised by the Gospel, by the encounter with Christ. There is nothing more beautiful than to know Him and to speak to others of our friendship with Him.” – Pope Benedict XVI, Inaugural Address, April 24, 2005
Everyday Evangelization March 23, 2014 Article:
Perhaps one or two of these will jump out at you, as they did for me;
compliments of the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration, in Mishawaka, IN:
Fast from judging others: Feast on Christ dwelling in you.
Fast from words that discourage: Feast on words that encourage.
Fast from discontentment: Feast on gratitude.
Fast from anger: Feast on patience.
Fast from complaining: Feast on appreciation.
Fast from shadows of sorrow: Feast on the sunlight of serenity and joy.
Fast from food: Feast on the word of God.
Column taken from www.everydayevangelization.blogspot.com
Everyday Evangelization February 9, 2014 Article:
Scripture reads, “And eternal life means to know you, the only true God, and to know Jesus Christ, whom you sent?” John 17:3
Do you know Jesus? Do you really know Him? Do you know him like you know your spouse, your children, your close friends? This scripture says it so clearly… to be with God for eternity, we need to know Him.
Think about how you would get to know someone. It would mean spending time with this person, talking to them, telling them about yourself and then more importantly, listening to what this person has to say. Have you spent time with God, talking to Him and then listening to Him? God wants to have a personal relationship with you. He is waiting for you and it can start now, with a hello. It’s really that simple. Hello Lord…
Everyday Evangelization January 26, 2014 Article:
As I was preparing for this column, I came across several great websites for Catholics. These websites include useful information and tips for living our Catholic life. I thought some were so good that I wanted to share them with you. Because this is a print edition, you will have to type these addresses in to your browser or you can also find these links under our Evangelization Commission link on our website: www.stbernardbridgewater.org. Then they will be only a click away. Hope you enjoy! – Annemarie
Daily gospel reflections, recipes, tips for fitness and activities for children… this site pretty much has it all. Go to this site and make it one of your favorites!
So dads don’t feel left out! Actually this is a really funny, enjoyable site clearly written by men for men. The site reads, “This is a site to help build community among Catholic Dads. Catholic moms rock when it comes to building community. We men…not so good. That is what Catholic Dads is all about. Here we can share stories. Discuss the issues of the day. Give advice. Share our faith. You know, guy stuff. So join the fun.”
All things related to building a stronger Catholic family. This site is put together by three dioceses and has lots of resources for ALL Catholics.
This site provides Catholic news, commentary, spiritual reflections and resources as well as practical suggestions for living our Catholic faith. This site is truly a great resource for EVERYONE!
A website devoted to helping adults, couples and families live their faith more vibrantly. The authors of this site are a diverse group of Christians so this site is not specifically Catholic. Still, the tons of ideas and activities on this site are worthwhile. Plus they have a mobile app! I highly recommend checking it out!
Everyday Evangelization January 12, 2014 Article:
Wasn’t it incredible to see how much more attention Pope Francis received thanks to being named Time “Person of the Year”? As if the walking face of the new evangelization doesn’t already draw the eyes of the world with some new gesture of love each week, the secular press continues flocking to Francis. They seem intrigued by the new light, which he continues shining on old problems.
Perhaps one of the main reasons Time chose him was the simple fact that Pope Francis continues to be one of the best conversation starters as we head into 2014: Isn’t it fun to ask people what they think about the new pope, and then to sit back and see where the conversation leads?!
One theme which often emerges, however implicitly, is the sense that Francis is so different from his predecessor, Pope Benedict. If our only categories of thought are “liberal” or “conservative,” they certainly seem like a story of contrasts: The “little poor man” following in the footsteps of St. Francis of Assisi, the Latin American herald of compassion, turns the Church onto dramatic new paths (hello “liberal” pope!); meanwhile his predecessor, the erudite European defender of Church dogma, retreats into the annals of history (farewell “conservative” pope!). But perhaps both Benedict and Francis have challenged us to search for a new, more “catholic” perspective on life–beyond the tired alternatives of left or right, progressive or conservative.
Indeed, it seems more and more clear that there is a third category of thought emerging in the minds of many people–one which unites Pope Benedict and Pope Francis. Many people seem to be slowly realizing that being Catholic never fit neatly into the old framework of “left” or “right.” These two Holy Fathers are definitely united in seeing the need for “missionary disciples” at this stage of human history; this idea is neither simply “traditional” nor “progressive,” but is fundamentally “catholic.”
Both the Church and the world need more people like these two, since it’s clearly time to move beyond the old trench warfare of “left vs. right.” Ultimately, both the Church and the world need Catholics to continue rooting their lives in Christ, who is the way and the truth and the life.
To read this full post, go to the link below.
Excerpt taken from www.everydayevangelization.blogspot.com written by David Spesia.
Everyday Evangelization November 24, 2013 Article:
Remembering Jesus Is With Us!
In the news on TV during the recent typhoon that caused so much destruction in the Philippines, it was heartwarming to see the prominent statue of Jesus that was not touched by the typhoon. There was destruction all around the statue, but Jesus was there to remind the people that He is still there. May we remember that Jesus is always there to see us through all the “storms” of our lives. Who can forget the cross of steel that was found among the rubble of 9-11.
Everyday Evangelization October 27, 2013 Article:
Got Satellite Radio?
Did you know that there is the Catholic Channel on Satellite Radio? It’s on SiriusXM Channel 129. The Catholic Channel is modern talk with a Catholic point of view. The talk shows are entertaining as well as thought provoking. Daily mass from St. Patrick’s Cathedral is broadcasted at 7:00 am and 10:00 am as well. Conversations with Cardinal Dolan and The Busted Halo Show are just some examples of what you’ll hear on this radio station. As their motto goes, “It’s not what you’d expect.”
Also, on Satellite Radio is EWTN Global Catholic Network, Channel 130. This channel is available only for Sirius and Online users. This radio station is talk with daily devotions as well as informative teaching series.
Shows include Kresta in the Afternoon, Mornings with Mother, Women of Grace and Reasons for Faith as well as many more. EWTN says it’s “serious talk for the serious listener”.
If you have XM or Sirius, why not consider listening to these two great stations?