Office of Missionary Discipleship
Missionary discipleship is following Jesus Christ in and through His Church to share the gospel message with our family and our neighbors, to the ends of the earth.
Missionary discipleship involves getting all the baptized to understand that we are called to mission, not maintenance. This involves facilitating encounter with Jesus Christ in a manner that opens hearts to ongoing conversion of life, anchored and fed by the sacramental life of the Church. Missionary discipleship presumes that the Great Commission of Matthew 28 is, in fact, THE mission. We are called to reach out, propose, and share Jesus Christ to people in spiritual need: that is, evangelization.
This office has two primary functions: 1) to initiate and support diocesan outreach to those in need of healing, to specific populations that need to hear the Lord’s message of hope. Examples of this outreach are Catholic in Recovery and Unbound Ministry. 2) to provide resources, brainstorming, assessment and facilitation to parishes to help them move deliberately from maintenance to mission parishes, dedicated to deepening the adult discipleship within the parish and acting upon their territory as a mission field full of people who want God’s goodness…although they may not know it.
The guidelines for this office as well as pastoral ministries throughout the Diocese may be found in the diocesan document, Encounter Jesus: Living as Missionary Disciples (Guidelines for Missionary Discipleship). Click here.
Recommended books/documents for reading:
Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus, is the 2012 book by Sherry Weddell, co-founder of the Catherine of Siena Institute ( https://siena.org/ ) . This has been quickly recognized as the best diagnostic book on the state of discipleship in American Catholic parishes today, how we got here, and where we are called by Christ to go.
Contemporary Church documents:
Paul VI, Evangelii Nuntiandi (On Evangelization in the Modern World) http://w2.vatican.va/content/paul-vi/en/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_p-vi_exh_19751208_evangelii-nuntiandi.html
Francis, Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel) http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20131124_evangelii-gaudium.html
USCCB, Living as Missionary Disciples: a Resource for Evangelization http://ccc.usccb.org/flipbooks/living-as-missionary-disciples/files/assets/basic-html/page-I.html