Prepare your homily or drive people away

Priests were urged to spice up their homilies or risk driving people to mushrooming churches and sects. This was the message sent to Catholic priests and formators by Archbishop Slattery of Pretoria at a workshop on evangelization, communication and formation organized by IMBISA for rectors and formators. The workshop that took place at Padre Pio Spiritual Centre from 20-25 July 2015, attracted formators from countries such as Angola, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho and South Africa. Priests, especially formators were challenged to take evangelization seriously as those training as future shepherds and ordinary Christians look up to them. Archbishop Slattery said evangelization is a true encounter and a relationship with Jesus Christ and gives a new horizon to life and that it is impossible for a priest who has not encountered Christ to create a platform for others to encounter Jesus. Archbishop Slattery challenged priests not to roam the streets but to engage more with the people and help them to have a personal contact with Christ. “Jesus says come and see and priests need to be gateways through which people develop a personal contact with the Lord always. Jesus liked being with the people. Mere administration can no longer be enough,” Archbishop Slattery said. He quoted Pope Francis who encourages the church to go forth with doors open to reach out to the fringes of humanity. Archbishop Slattery emphasised: “People want a conversational situation, an interactional situation and a dialogical participative church and as such evangelizers should be willing to take up the challenge of being more with the people and bring people to Jesus who says ‘come and see’”. Fr. Fanwell Magwidi called on formators to embrace evangelization seriously or else it remains a talk show without any meaning. He expressed concern that evangelization should bring people to a special relationship with the person of Jesus and urged those entrusted with the duty to evangelize to employ new strategies in preaching the word of God that appeals to the contemporary congregants. Fr. Magwidi also challenged evangelizers to deliver quality sermons that influence personal transformation and spiritual growth. “The liturgy of the word should be the best place to inflame human hearts. The pulpit is not the platform for academic lectures and rhetoric but should give people a sigh of relief. Jesus is the word people need to feed on. The reason why some Catholics flock to upcoming pentecostal churches is because some evangelizers do not prepare their sermons enough and use the pulpit to settle scores or as a place to discipline people instead of feeding them with the word of God.” The workshop focused on bolstering issues to do with evangelization, communication and formation where formators were encouraged to consider communication as a core subject of the syllabus. The challenges of new media technologies were considered to be inevitable, hence those in charge of forming future priests and religious were urged to take up new media technologies as part of the formation program and guide the young ones so that they do not abuse but benefit from these means of communication. . The workshop that took place at Padre Pio Spiritual Centre from 20-25 July 2015, attracted formators from countries such as Angola, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho and South Africa. Priests, especially formators were challenged to take evangelization seriously as those training as future shepherds and ordinary Christians look up to them. Archbishop Slattery said evangelization is a true encounter and a relationship with Jesus Christ and gives a new horizon to life and that it is impossible for a priest who has not encountered Christ to create a platform for others to encounter Jesus. Archbishop Slattery challenged priests not to roam the streets but to engage more with the people and help them to have a personal contact with Christ. “Jesus says come and see and priests need to be gateways through which people develop a personal contact with the Lord always. Jesus liked being with the people. Mere administration can no longer be enough,” Archbishop Slattery said. He quoted Pope Francis who encourages the church to go forth with doors open to reach out to the fringes of humanity. Archbishop Slattery emphasised: “People want a conversational situation, an interactional situation and a dialogical participative cPREPARE YOUR HOMILY OR DRIVE PEOPLE AWAY Priests were urged to spice up their homilies or risk driving people to mushrooming churches and sects. This was the message sent to Catholic priests and formators by Archbishop Slattery of Pretoria at a workshop on evangelization, communication and formation organized by IMBISA for rectors and formators. The workshop that took place at Padre Pio Spiritual Centre from 20-25 July 2015, attracted formators from countries such as Angola, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho and South Africa. Priests, especially formators were challenged to take evangelization seriously as those training as future shepherds and ordinary Christians look up to them. Archbishop Slattery said evangelization is a true encounter and a relationship with Jesus Christ and gives a new horizon to life and that it is impossible for a priest who has not encountered Christ to create a platform for others to encounter Jesus. Archbishop Slattery challenged priests not to roam the streets but to engage more with the people and help them to have a personal contact with Christ. “Jesus says come and see and priests need to be gateways through which people develop a personal contact with the Lord always. Jesus liked being with the people. Mere administration can no longer be enough,” Archbishop Slattery said. He quoted Pope Francis who encourages the church to go forth with doors open to reach out to the fringes of humanity. Archbishop Slattery emphasised: “People want a conversational situation, an interactional situation and a dialogical participative church and as such evangelizers should be willing to take up the challenge of being more with the people and bring people to Jesus who says ‘come and see’”. Fr. Fanwell Magwidi called on formators to embrace evangelization seriously or else it remains a talk show without any meaning. He expressed concern that evangelization should bring people to a special relationship with the person of Jesus and urged those entrusted with the duty to evangelize to employ new strategies in preaching the word of God that appeals to the contemporary congregants. Fr. Magwidi also challenged evangelizers to deliver quality sermons that influence personal transformation and spiritual growth. “The liturgy of the word should be the best place to inflame human hearts. The pulpit is not the platform for academic lectures and rhetoric but should give people a sigh of relief. Jesus is the word people need to feed on. The reason why some Catholics flock to upcoming pentecostal churches is because some evangelizers do not prepare their sermons enough and use the pulpit to settle scores or as a place to discipline people instead of feeding them with the word of God.” The workshop focused on bolstering issues to do with evangelization, communication and formation where formators were encouraged to consider communication as a core subject of the syllabus. The challenges of new media technologies were considered to be inevitable, hence those in charge of forming future priests and religious were urged to take up new media technologies as part of the formation program and guide the young ones so that they do not abuse but benefit from these means of communication. hurch and as such evangelizers should be willing to take up the challenge of being more with the people and bring people to Jesus who says ‘come and see’”. Fr. Fanwell Magwidi called on formators to embrace evangelization seriously or else it remains a talk show without any meaning. He expressed concern that evangelization should bring people to a special relationship with the person of Jesus and urged those entrusted with the duty to evangelize to employ new strategies in preaching the word of God that appeals to the contemporary congregants. Fr. Magwidi also challenged evangelizers to deliver quality sermons that influence personal transformation and spiritual growth. “The liturgy of the word should be the best place to inflame human hearts. The pulpit is not the platform for academic lectures and rhetoric but should give people a sigh of relief. Jesus is the word people need to feed on. The reason why some Catholics flock to upcoming pentecostal churches is because some evangelizers do not prepare their sermons enough and use the pulpit to settle scores or as a place to discipline people instead of feeding them with the word of God.” The workshop focused on bolstering issues to do with evangelization, communication and formation where formators were encouraged to consider communication as a core subject of the syllabus. The challenges of new media technologies were considered to be inevitable, hence those in charge of forming future priests and religious were urged to take up new media technologies as part of the formation program and guide the young ones so that they do not abuse but benefit from these means of communication.