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EPISODE #250
EMPOWERED BY THE SPIRIT: “EVANGELIZATION NOW” WITH GUEST FR. AL BACA

Deacon Steve Greco is thrilled to welcome a very special guest to the studio for our show today. It’s none other than Fr. Al Baca, the Diocese of Orange Director of Evangelization and Faith Formation.

Tune in for this lively and timely discussion!

 

 

 

 

Originally broadcast on 7/19/2020

EPISODE #188
EMPOWERED BY THE SPIRIT: THE CALL TO EVANGELIZE WITH GUEST BISHOP TIMOTHY FREYER

On this week’s show, Deacon Steve Greco is delighted to welcome Bishop Timothy Freyer back to the studios. It’s been a while since we’ve had him on with us, so it’s great to be able to catch up.

He has been an auxiliary Bishop for the Diocese of Orange for just over 2 years now. A native of Huntington Beach, Bishop Freyer has roots that run deep here in the OC. Listen in as he shares about his fascinating story; and, his heart for the people of our growing diocese!

 

Originally broadcast on 3/31/19

 

WHAT CAN EVANGELIZE THE WORLD? A GOOD CATHOLIC SCHOOL

Phoenix, Ariz., Mar 16, 2017 / 06:04 am (CNA/EWTN News) – The Catholic school can be a missionary force to bring Christ to the world, the Bishop of Phoenix has said in a new apostolic letter.

“A mark of a truly Catholic school is the fruit that is borne in the lives of its graduates,” Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of Phoenix said. “That fruit is to be shown in the missionary activity of its graduates, called and sent by Jesus to be salt and light in the culture around them, knowing that people and cultures die without Christ.”

The bishop’s apostolic letter “Evangelizing through Catholic Schools” was dated March 3, the feast day of the Catholic educator St. Katharine Drexel.

His letter said Catholic schools should be “a place of encounter with Jesus Christ” that can impart a Catholic worldview through the curriculum, help students achieve true freedom, and send them out as “missionary disciples to transform the culture.”

Many Catholic school students first must have a relationship of trust with someone who is a disciple of Christ, but once that is established “through hospitality and kindness,” he said, “the most loving thing a Catholic school can do is to share with each person the living Jesus Christ.”

Catholic schools help ensure that all students hear the basic Gospel message and are given “the freedom and help to make a response in faith.” Catholic schools “cannot exist for themselves.” Rather, the gospel demands that when students are well-formed they be sent out “as ambassadors of the truth and love of Christ.”

Bishop Olmsted reflected that true freedom of Catholic education is rooted in the truth and draws from Christ’s words from the Gospel of John: “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

“A joyful and evangelized person is truly free to be and to live as a child of God,” he said, criticizing views of freedom that separate it from truth. He contrasted freedom with slavery to sin.

“When Catholic education imparts to students the intellectual and moral virtues to know the Truth and to love the Good (which are both ultimately found in God) it is giving students the gift of true freedom,” he said.

According to Bishop Olmsted, Catholic schools are much more than public schools with religion class and morality added.

“Rather, the ethos of a Christian education vivifies and unites the totality of the school’s curriculum,” he said, praising Catholic educators’ “noble vocation” to help young people discover who they are.

“May the parents, teachers and school children of our local Catholic schools — through their constant contact with Jesus the Word made Flesh — be inspired missionary disciples of His Kingdom,” Bishop Olmsted said.

Los Angeles, California – May 1, 2013: Archbishop Jose H. Gomez attended a Youth Rosary Rally at Cantwell-Sacred Heart of Mary High School in Montebello, CA on May 1, 2013. Credit: Victor Alemán/Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

OC CATHOLIC EDITOR PATRICK MOTT ON ‘SUBTLE EVANGELIZATION’

Hardly a winter weekend went by during my twenties when I was either on skis or planning to be on skis. A fresh snowfall was all it took, and my friends and I would get up long before the sun in order to be on the slopes the moment the lifts opened. The rare times we were flush we went to Mammoth or Tahoe, but we were just as content to head for the local mountains and eat our lunch out of fanny packs.

If the trip involved an overnight stay, my habit was to find the local parish church and go to the Saturday vigil Mass. This would inevitably arouse curiosity in whatever non-Catholic friends happened to be along, and it wasn’t unusual for them to ask if it would be all right if they came with me.

I was happy to act as tour guide, and I prepped them simply: be ready for a lot of changes of posture, and when the Sign of Peace arrives, shake hands and smile.

I’d love to say that these little expeditions were thumping successes and that my skiing pals came away overwhelmingly impressed every time, but the truth is that I was probably the most unlucky would-be evangelist in the state. The reason: almost without fail, the regular homilies at these Masses would be shelved in favor of an appeal for money.

It was just odd luck. These weren’t just capricious requests for a quick infusion of cash, but long-planned appeals for specific collections that were used to fund worthy ministries on the parish, diocesan or national level. We just happened to show up on the weekend of the Parish Snow Removal Appeal collection, or some such.

I was always a little mortified, but I needn’t have worried. My friends were solicitous and understanding, and always told me they enjoyed attending a Catholic Mass, some of them for the first time. And they usually had questions that I did my best to field. I like to think that they came away with a better opinion of the Church and a somewhat closer understanding of the Mass. I also like to think that they were disabused of one or two prejudices that might have been born of simple ignorance.

Some of them actually ponied up for the collections.

In the years since, I’ve had Catholic friends who have told me about their elaborate efforts to get their non-Catholic friends to attend a Mass. Others have said that they would be reluctant to extend an invitation, not wanting to be seen as proselytizing. The better, and more effective approach, it seems to me, is somewhere in the middle ground, and it involves nothing more than providing a good example: if you are known as a person who practices the faith regularly and faithfully, others will eventually ask you about it. Active faith, at its best, is countercultural, and that’s often irresistible.

Jesus was subtle, but solid. We can be, too.