When I became Catholic 8 years ago, and came to my senses, so to speak, I became very interested in evangelization, because even though I had (I think) a solid upbringing in a religious setting, none of it held my attention. I drifted around the edges of religion (of any sort) for the better part of 45 years. As an aside, I was brought up in the Evangelical and Reformed Church, attended Sunday School up to and through middle school. Something happened at church that my folks didn’t agree with, and so we left, and joined “the” Presbyterian Church (later finding out that my mom chose this church because “If it was good enough for Ronald Reagan, it’s good enough for us!”), then finding out we joined the “wrong wing” of “the” Presbyterian Church. By that time I was out of the home at college, and hung out with a friend at the Methodist Student Center, mostly playing Dungeons and Dragons and watching TV in the air conditioned center room. Honestly, I had no anchor. We had little to no prayer life at home, and outside of dressing up and going to church, no formation. I believed that Jesus was my Lord and Savior, but it was, to put it bluntly, lip service. When I joined the military at 27 years old, my idea of prayer was to treat Him like an ATM, praying when I “needed” to, and pretty much ignoring Him otherwise. So finally, my life was on the brink, and I asked God for another chance, and this time, I kept (so far) my promise, pretty much. I was in a pit, and decided to talk to someone about it. God chose a priest for me. That priest gave me a book outlining the Catechism, and it all started with the Beatitudes. At that time, at that place, in my circumstance, the Beatitudes spoke volumes to me. And my conversion began. As I read further, I wanted to read more, and I did. In eight years, in my personal reading, I have not read a secular book. I’ve read tons about the Catholic Church, everything from history to books about prayer, and I kept wondering why I never heard this stuff before, and at the same time seeing that I wasn’t the only one. Along the way, my financial contributions have been to organizations that promote the Catholic faith through evangelization. Primarily EWTN, Word on Fire, and DynamicCatholic.com.
I’m an Ambassador at both Word on Fire and DynamicCatholic. They both have paid resources, and free resources, and speak to young people through social media. But DynamicCatholic, headed by Matthew Kelly, has posted a new program, called Decision Point, a complete Confirmation program, and it is totally free of charge. Any parish that wants to consider using the program may, with no financial output. Matthew Kelly is really good at that. He’s one of the first speakers I know who require sign-ups in advance, and charge a fee. (I know, lots of conferences charge fees to defray speaker’s fees, but I look at this differently, mostly because of what you get for the fee…) To date, I have never spent a dime at DynamicCatholic that I didn’t get back in return, at least two-fold. When I saw him live, the fee was $40 per person. But you got a book, a couple of CD’s, and other materials, a $40 value, per person. Made it great, cuz I went with my wife, so we had gifts for people! You can get free books at his web site, just pay $3 to cover shipping. But I really encourage anyone who wants to teach their children, or any group of teens, about their faith, to go to http://www.dynamiccatholic.com/confirmation.
Are you ready to engage the young people of your parish in a life-changing conversation about the genius of Catholicism?
For too long we have watched young people walk away from the faith. The tragedy is, most of them have never had the genius of Catholicism presented to them in a compelling way. So they have walked away, completely unaware of what they were turning their backs on.
Something has to change. Everyone knows it. It’s time.
This is different. One look at the materials for DECISION POINT and that is clear. It looks different because it is different. But it’s not just different in how it looks and feels. The way we developed it was very different from how Catholic programs have been developed in the past.
And it’s not just different for the sake of being different. It’s different for a reason. Let’s be honest—the old way isn’t working. Eighty-five percent of young Catholics stop practicing their faith within ten years of their Confirmation.