Why Catholic? Team Leaders Will Help Grow Small Faith Groups


ORLANDO | Paul Pritchard of Annunciation Parish in Altamonte Springs was interested in growing as a Catholic, learning more about his faith.

“I had been in some nondenominational, small faith groups,” Pritchard said, “but I wanted something rooted in Scripture, rooted in Catholicism. My primary consideration was something ongoing. I needed another ministry to allow me to learn more about my faith.”

In December, Pritchard attended an information session on Why Catholic? in the Orlando Diocese.

“It was a perfect opportunity for me. … I got very excited at the initial talk,” Pritchard said.

Dominican Sister of Peace Pat Thomas facilitated the launch workshops the week of Feb. 28 for those who, like Pritchard, wanted to be team leaders of Why Catholic? Sister Thomas works with Renew International of Plainfield, N.J., the presenters of the ministry.

Each deanery hosted a workshop — the first of three before the Why Catholic? process launches diocesewide Oct. 4.
Why Catholic? is an incredible process for evangelization in every Catholic parish in every diocese — if not around the world — including South Africa,” Sister Thomas said. “To reach as many people as possible in South Africa, training is provided in Afrikaans and Xhosa (two of the 11 official languages).”

To reach the diverse population of the Catholic Church in central Florida, Carol Brinati, director of communications and secretary of evangelization for the Orlando Diocese, said materials for the diocese are available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese and Creole.

Dominican Sister Marenid Fabre offered training that same week for team leaders of the Spanish-language version, ¿Por qué ser Católico?

As of March 11, 52 parishes have signed up to offer the four-year process of renewal.

A popular question from future team leaders is “Who can be a part of Why Catholic?

“All are welcome,” Sister Thomas replied. “The beauty of it is that it can be so flexible.”

Young adults, college age, up to age 40 are the focus of Why Catholic?

Two six-week sessions are offered during a 12-month period. The process is open to Catholics, as well as non-Catholics, who want to know more about the Catholic faith. People can begin with the first class or start later. “This is something anyone can come into at any time. It is a pulsed format. You don’t get burned out on it. It is a fabulous way to implement whole-community catechesis,” Pritchard said. “It gives understanding of what we believe. You talk about it from your faith perspective — no right or wrong answer.”

Sister Thomas said, “It will touch the lives of the parish. That is the hope.”

To learn more about Why Catholic? visit www.orlandodiocese.org and click on the Why Catholic? logo in the right column. The second training, on evangelization, will be conducted April 29-May 6.

This article originally appeared in Florida Catholic and is reproduced with permission.