Our focus for evangelization is a direct response to the Holy Father’s Apostolic Exhortation, “The Joy of the Gospel”, to invite the people of the diocese to see themselves as missionary disciples. Evangelization efforts include ABP, the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, Catechesis and Zoning of churches using the Pastoral Team approach.
Biblical Animation of All Pastoral Life (ABP)
The Word of God, when listened to and heard, animates the thoughts, words and deeds of people as a consequence of the spiritual senses being flooded by the Holy Spirit, resulting in that ‘push’ towards ‘wanting to see Jesus’. The ABP Team prays with a different church each week using the method of Lectio Divina. Churches are visited by the Bishop and members of the team. In June, Deacon Michael and Maria James visited from Mexico to lead an ABP Encounter for the laity in the Mandeville Diocese, with the aim of preparing leaders for prayer meetings and promoting the Word of God encounter in the churches.
The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults
The RCIA is an evangelizing process for incorporating persons who express the desire to become members of the Catholic Church. RCIA Catechist training and training of Catechists for the catechesis of the young are scheduled. The Rite of Election and Enrollment was held for the first time in the Diocese on the first Sunday of Lent in 2015. Although there is emphasis on the RCIA, people are encouraged to find comfort and resolution through intimacy with Jesus and be in obedience to God’s will by using the gifts afforded them
Pastoral Team and Zoning
Bishop Neil is encouraging and using the Team approach to pastoral ministry within a zone of churches. The first example of this is at St. Theresa of the Child Jesus, Black River, which will be engaged in this new approach for the Diocese. A Pastoral team comprising the Office of Catechetics, Youth, Social Outreach Centre and Office of Evangelization along with Fr. Michael Rowe, C.P. was formed to take responsibility for the Pastoral care of that Church and community. Fr. James Price, C.P. leads this Pastoral Team. With emphasis on being present through visitations to homes, hospitals, the prison, community groups and base organizations, and through active listening, the Pastoral Team hopes to create stronger relationships within the Church and the community based on mutual respect and genuine concern for each other.