Young Life & the catholic church. Michael A. Havercamp. A Story . . . The “Missional Moment”. “Because many of those baptized
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Young Life & the catholic church Michael A. Havercamp
“Because many of those baptized as infants are culturally or nominally Catholic and may never have internalized their faith, they need to meet the person of Jesus Christ through a new proclamation, so that at the root of their relationship with Jesus will be an authentic conversion of heart and mind.” ~Bishop Samuel Jacobs, former chairman of the USCCB Committee for Evangelization 1.2 Billion Catholics Worldwide
“The majority of Catholics in the United States are sacramentalized but not evangelized.” -Sherry Weddell, Catherine of Siena Institute
Language to avoid… Para-church Evangelism Getting “Saved” “Jenny became a Christian at camp” “Have you been born again?” Note: Many Catholics won’t have the language that you do to express their faith. But don’t assume that they lack faith altogether.
Catholic language:a whole new world Catechism/Catechesis Apostolate Homily Laity Lectionary Liturgy of the Hours/Divine Office The Our Father Parish Paschal Mystery RCIA Vatican II Vocation Diocese Petitions/Intercessions
Catholic quiz: true or false
Young life’s objective Is to convert catholics: true or false
Catholicism teaches personal relationship with God: true or false
true or false: Catholics believe in salvation by works while Protestants believe in salvation by grace.
Sacraments are “objectively efficacious,” so they automatically produce holiness in people. true or false
true or false: Protestants are all about scripture. Catholics are all about tradition.
All catholic teaching comes from what popes say true or false
true or false: catholics worship saints.
Catholics believe that mary is the fourth person of the trinity. true or false
true or false: You must pray the rosary to be a “catholic in good standing with the church.”
Young life & the Catholic church: Five points of common ground
YL & The Catholic Church: 1) A personal relationship with Jesus
The essence of Christianity is Christ – not a doctrine, but a person.~ Pope Benedict XVI ~
Pope John Paul II, Novo millennioineunte, 29 “We shall not be saved by a formula but by a Person.”
“Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice, or a lofty idea, but the ENCOUNTER with an event, a PERSON, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.” Pope Benedict XVI Deus caritas est (Godis love), p.1
Cardinal Timothy Dolan, New York “We are all about a person. We are all about a relationship of faith, hope and love with a person, who happens to be the greatest person who ever lived…”
Cardinal Timothy Dolan, New York “. . .who also happens to be my best friend who knows me and calls me by name, who looks me in the eyes and invites me to spend eternity with him. . .
Cardinal Timothy Dolan, New York . . .and that person is JESUS.”
the pastoral realityOnly 60% of Catholics believe in a personal God.Only 48% of Catholics say they are absolutely certain they can have a personal relationship with God. There is a direct relationship in young Catholics between Mass attendance and their certainty of a personal God.
Unique Challenges to the Evangelization of Catholic Youth“Cradle” Catholicism“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” CultureHistorical Overemphasis on catechesis
“Cradle” Catholicism • “I was born Catholic.” • You are not a Catholic because your grandmother was born in County Cork or Palermo or Guadalajara and your parents submitted you to a certain religious ritual when you were an infant. You are a Catholic because you have met the Lord Jesus and entered into a mature friendship with him.~George Weigel, Evangelical Catholicism, p.34
“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” • “For many Catholics, it’s a scary thing just to mention the name ‘Jesus’ in casual conversation.” • Most Catholics don’t know that normative Catholicism involves:- a living, growing relationship with Jesus Christ- a deep and personal knowledge of the Scriptures- a unique, personal calling (or vocation) from God- fellowship with other Christians that are equally excited about their faith • *This is so distant and unreal to them that they have come to regard it a deeply Catholic thing NOT to talk about their faith with others.
historical overemphasis on catechesis • CCD and DRE • “I learned all that in Catholic school.” • Catholicism begins not with knowing about Jesus, but with knowing Jesus personally. • **Doctrinal formulas are merely intellectual expressions of a fundamentally personal encounter with the Lord Jesus who invites every person into intimate friendship.
YL & the Catholic Church: 2) JUSTIFICATION
Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of justification1999Lutheran world federation & Roman Catholic Church “Together we confess: By grace alone, in faith in christ’s work and not because of any merit of our own, we are accepted by God and receive the holy spirit, who renews our hearts while equipping and calling us to good works.’”
YL & the Catholic Church: 3) Prayer
To be a Christian without prayer is not more possible than to be alive without breathing.-Martin Luther King, Jr.
St. Therese of Lisieux “For me, prayer is a surge of heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition, embracing both trial and joy.”
St. TeresA of Avila“Prayer in my opinion is nothing else than a close sharing between friends;it means taking time frequently to be alone with him who we know loves us.”
Pope John Paul II “How to pray? This is a simple matter. I would say: Pray any way you like, so long as you do pray.”
YL & the catholic church 4) Scripture
Dei verbum (Dogmatic constitution on divine revelation), 21“The Church has always venerated the divine scriptures as it has venerated the body of the lord…it follows that all the preaching of the church, as indeed the entire christian religion, should be nourished and ruled by sacred scripture.”
YL & the Catholic Church 5)Spiritual friendship/community
Mother Teresa “The most terrible poverty is loneliness.”
“Where two or more are gathered together in my name, I am there in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:20
MINISTERING WITH CATHOLICS: JOINING HANDS WITH OUR CATHOLIC BROTHERS AND SISTERS.
1) Reach out personally to your local Catholic youth minister, priest or diocesan director of evangelization or youth ministry.
2) Be prepared. Read key Catholic resources: -Beating with one Heart -A Practical Guide for Ministering To and With Catholics -An Ecumenical Gift Exchange -Catholic & Christian -That They May Be One: www.ylcatholic.blogspot.com -Evangelicals and Catholics Together-The Christian Mission in the Third Millennium