By Tom Quiner
“Hey, would you like to go to church with me?”
What a nice, friendly way to be hospitable and evangelize your faith.
Protestants are much better at this than Catholics. Here’s the rub for Catholics: once they get their non-Catholic friends to Mass, they can’t let them go up for Communion. You have to be Catholic.
It’s kind of uncomfortable to point to this passage in the Catholic Missal which says:
“Because Catholics believe that the celebration of the Eucharist is a sign of the reality of the oneness of faith, life, and worship, members of those churches with whom we are not yet fully united are ordinarily not admitted to Holy Communion.”
Your guest can’t participate in the Supper of the Lamb. This kind of discourages Catholics from inviting non-Catholics to Mass. In fairness, Catholics may not take communion if they are in a state of mortal sin. They must first seek the Sacrament of Reconciliation which can absolve their sin(s).
Catholics very much honor the spirit of St. Paul’s admonition from 1 Corinthians 11:27-32:
“Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment. When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world.”
St. Paul believed, as did all Christians until a century and a half later, that the bread and wine are not mere symbols. They ARE Christ, body, soul, and divinity.
You can understand the Catholic view, even if you don’t agree with it.
So how do Catholics evangelize?
With the way they live their lives.
With their reverence for the faith.
With the way they treat others.
The pro life movement has been a tremendous tool for Catholic evangelization, because for years, Catholics were the only ones standing up for the pre born. Eventually, our evangelical and fundamentalist Christian brothers and sisters discerned the same Truth as Catholics, that human life begins at conception.
Along the way, many pro lifers gravitated to the Catholic Church.
When Pope John Paul II was elected Pope, he called for a new evangelization in the Catholic Church. This effort has encompassed a wide range of efforts including an embrace of the new media. Check out the blogosphere and you’ll discover a rich presence of quality Catholic blogs, the fruit of JPII’s call to action of Catholic laity.
You’ll see Catholics out feeding the poor.
You’ll see Catholics educating our kids and tending to our sick.
You’ll see Catholics standing up for the pre born, and taking care of the moms and the kids after they’re born.
I have noticed something I really like about Protestant evangelization: they do something Catholics used to do quite effectively, embrace the arts as a tool of evangelization. I’ve attended many faith-based musicals performed in Protestant churches, because I was asked to attend.
Stories of faith are a great way to evangelize, especially when set to music.
Pope Benedict saw the need for Catholic evangelization using the arts. He gathered artists at the Vatican in 2009 and challenged them to use their talents to evangelize God’s message.
I have answered that call.
I have embraced a ministry I call “Evangelization through Entertainment.” It evangelizes the richness and beauty of the Catholic faith using music and theater.
My current project is The Wedding at Cana Musical, and is intended to be performed as Catholic dinner theater. This is the kind of event Catholics can invite fallen away Catholics, Protestants, Jews, and even agnostics to. It’s a great way to get grown children back into church.
I am funding the project by running a Kickstarter campaign. Can you help?
Click this link. Check out the campaign. I am humbly asking Quiner’s Diner readers for there support. There are only 25 days left in the campaign to hit our goal.