Mercy Mondays

Mission Intentional: Evangelization on a Whole New Level

By Deacon Keith Strohm | Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Last February, Archbishop Cupich laid out a dynamic pastoral vision for the Archdiocese of Chicago, which he called Renew My Church. You can read about it here.  Rather than being simply an initiative, one among many things that the Archdiocese will do in a given time period, this Renew My Church vision, and its pastoral planning process, is fundamental to who we are as the local Church here in Chicago. It concerns not just a set of actions or strategies taken in isolation and checked off a list when completed, but it also lays down a fundamental and comprehensive approach to living as communities of missionary disciples united to Christ and to each other.

The goal of this overall approach is to foster, nurture and support renewed vitality in our parish communities—not just for the Catholics who participate in those communities, but for the sake of those people and neighborhoods in which our parishes are placed. Christ gathered His Church so that it could be sent out, and we are setting a course that will strengthen and prepare our parishes for evangelization and mission for generations to come.

In an effort to support the parishes and vicariates of the Archdiocese as they begin the Renew My Church process, the Office for the New Evangelization is sponsoring a practical evangelization event called Make Disciples, featuring Sherry Weddell, the author of the bestselling book Forming Intentional Disciples. During this event, Sherry will share ways to awaken in others a personal faith in Christ, and discuss how to build cultures of discipleship that can transform parishes, helping them move from maintenance to mission-oriented communities alive in the power of Jesus Christ.

During this event, you will:

This is a perfect opportunity for parishes and their parishioners, throughout the Archdiocese of Chicago, to start building a common language, vision and understanding around evangelization and mission in preparation for the Renew My Church process.

Make Disciples begins at 9 am (check-in begins at 8) on June 25, at St. John Brebeuf Parish Ministry Center, and ends at 4:30 p.m. Parish groups and individuals can register by going here and clicking the Registration button. Registration is $60 ($50 before June 1st), which includes a light breakfast and lunch. Scholarship funds are available to enable those who might need them to attend at a greatly reduced rate. There are also group discounts available, so if you plan on bringing a group, or if individuals need scholarship assistance, they should contact Liz Johnson at or 312-534-3855.

We hope to see you there!

Mercy Challenge

To live intentionally and participate in the Renew My Church movement, invite someone who doesn’t attend mass to join you! Creating a welcoming environment to newcomers may be a small gesture on your part, but a big influence for those ready to begin their journey with Christ.

Deacon Keith Strohm is the director of the Office for the New Evangelization.