News from the Bishops’ Conference Home Mission Desk:

NEW FREE VIDEO RESOURCES TO SUPPORT PARISH EVANGELISATION

Five new faith testimony videos will be made available shortly on the Bishops’ Conference website in support of parish evangelisation. The films have been commissioned by the Bishops’ Conference Department for Evangelisation and Catechesis as part of its Crossing the Threshold initiative which focusses on ministry and outreach to non-churchgoing (lapsed) Catholics. Two of the films explicitly reference RCIA as a tool that helped the testimony-givers to re-connect with their faith and parish life.

Filmed for the Department by Catholic Evangelisation Services (CaFE), here’s a snapshot of what was shared by some of the contributors:

Dave, 45, from Liverpool

Missing out on something

“I was baptised but wasn’t brought up a Catholic. When I got married and my wife and children went to church and received Holy Communion I felt deeply that I was missing out. So I made a resolution to do something about it. I now feel complete.”

Karolina, 31, from London

Wanted to feel happy

“I did everything I could to feel happy but felt so empty inside. So I sat down on my bed one day and asked God to change my life and that started a sequence of events that led me back to church. Now I feel loved and so happy that God is part of my life.”

Matt, 72, from Brentwoo

Just drifted away

“I always intended to find another church when we moved house, but somehow, through busyness, it didn’t happen. In my own mind I convinced myself that I didn’t need to go to Mass. My journey back started when I visited a monastery in Spain.”

Penny, 24, from Cardiff

Uncertain God existed

“I stopped going to Mass because I couldn’t accept that God existed. But a heartfelt moment of prayer changed everything and I now have so much peace.”

The films are at the final stage of editing and it is hoped they will go online during the second half of August.

They are being highlighted to every parish in England and Wales in this year’s Home Mission Sunday materials which will be sent to every parish and religious house by September.

On Home Mission Sunday, which is on 15 September, the Bishops of England and Wales invite us to pray for and support the work of evangelisation close to home through having a second collection. The theme of this year’s Sunday  is ‘Crossing the Threshold: Ministry and Outreach to Non–Churchgoing (lapsed) Catholics’. It has been chosen in response to requests from all tiers of the Catholic community in England and Wales for this to be a significant focus of the work of evangelisation.

It is estimated that while there are around one million churchgoing Catholics in England and Wales, there are at least four million who rarely or never visit their local parish. In response to this reality the Bishops’ Conference Department for Evangelisation and Catechesis is inviting every parish to make ministry and outreach to non-churchgoing Catholics a priority in the year ahead, beginning on Home Mission Sunday.Pope Francis greets people in the street

While the lapsation of the baptised is not new within the Catholic community, the worry and anxiety experienced by parents, siblings and grandparents of non-churchgoing baptised, is deep and heartfelt. We all hold in our hearts at least one person in our family who seems disconnected from the life of the Church.

The money raised from the second collections taken on this day will help to fund a number of national projects, including the development of resources to support ministry and outreach to non-churchgoing (lapsed) Catholics.  Thank you in advance for your support and do pick up a free prayer and information leaflet about Home Mission Sunday as you leave church on 15th. For more information please see: www.catholicnews.org.uk/hms13