RENEW's Anne Scanlan Delivers Keynote
at San Angelo Evangelization Conference Day
The Diocese of San Angelo welcomed back Anne Scanlan from RENEW International [a Why Catholic? Presenter in the Diocese] to be the keynote speaker for the Diocesan Conference Day held on Saturday, February 11, 2012 at the McNease Convention Center in San Angelo. The theme, “Missioned to Proclaim the Good News” focused on the New Evangelization and the call of all the baptized to be evangelizers in their daily lives. Parishes from across the diocese gathered to reflect on our understanding of “the good news” and identifying aspects such as love, compassion, forgiveness, humility, prayer, and zeal.
The day opened with a prayer service focusing on the mandate of Jesus to the disciples to proclaim the gospel to every creature and the Decree on the Laity from the Second Vatican Council. Time was given to reflect and share on the mandate to be evangelizers. Bishop Michael D. Pfeifer welcomed the participants and called out the different parishes and missions in attendance. In the opening keynote Scanlan reminded everyone that this gift of evangelization has been passed on for over 2000 years and how it is critical to share it wherever we are. She explained how living the Gospel means embracing the poor, the isolated, the disenfranchised, the rich, the violent, the peacemakers, etc. and moving away from consumerism, hatred, violence, classism, racism. Little by little we began to experience transformation.
Four breakout sessions were offered: Circle of Life – Small Christian Communities by Anne Scanlan, Broadening the Circle – A Franciscan Perspective by S. Adelina García, OSF, Living My Spirituality to the Fullest by Brenda Maiman, and Circle of Inclusion- Re-Entry Process by S. Estela Tovar, CDP.
Small faith communities are opportunities to give voice to our personal and lives experiences of God and the call of the Gospel. We share our stories and how the Gospel inspires us to live ALL the moments of live. We go forth from each session more committed and less isolated to live as Jesus lived.
The Franciscan Perspective of Evangelization includes a sense of the sacred in all of creation. Humanity is responsible to be good stewards of creation and live in a way that will keep in harmony with everyone and everything. This stance demands a radical change in our lifestyle and spirituality.
Living My Spirituality to the Fullest focused on taking time to listen to the God within and the call to be more human in order to radiate God’s love to others. “Be still and know that I am God.”
Re-Entry Process include some former incarcerated persons who gave testimony of their struggle to deal with life’s challenges after their release from prison. How can we make the process easier and more hospitable as Catholic Christians?
All the sessions were well attended and received very good evaluations.
A delicious lunch was prepared and served by the Knights of Columbus. Everyone enjoyed the meal and had a chance to visit the exhibits. Exhibits included book publishers, bookstores, the Vocations Office and Women Religious congregations. Throughout the day the students from Newman Center at Angelo State University assisted with registration, introductions, distributing materials and whatever else was necessary.
The afternoon keynote focused on Pope John Paul II’s call for a NEW EVANGELIZATION . . . a new ardor, new methods, and new expressions. We are to take this commission to evangelize and make it contemporary! We are to revitalize the truth with passion and zeal using technology to communicate the Word of God, and know this is a personal call to EVERY baptized person. This is as practical as sending religious Christmas cards to inviting someone alone, to Thanksgiving dinner, to wearing ashes proudly!
The day ended with Liturgy presided by Bishop Michael D. Pfeifer, OMI. The choir from the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart led the singing.
Article and photos courtesy of the West Texas Angelus, the Catholic newspaper of the Diocese of San Angelo.