One of the most popular aspects of my book The New Evangelization and You: Be Not Afraid were the many sidebars about New Evangelizers in Action, stories of everyday Catholics doing their best to know, live, and share their faith. The original plan was for an entire bonus chapter of New Evangelizers, but unfortunately the page count exceeded the plan for the printers.
So for the next few weeks, I’m going to share this great bonus content from The New Evangelization and You: Be Not Afraid. Enjoy!
New Evangelizers in Action: Tim Drake
“I encountered Christ in the Catholic faith through Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration,” says Tim Drake, a convert from Lutheranism who now works as a Catholic journalist, radio host, and author. “Once I had that encounter, and understood the Catholic understanding of Christ’s presence in the Eucharist, there was no turning back.”
And though there’s no turning back, Tim acknowledges the myriad of potential difficulties along the road to heaven.
“I suspect that, as with most people, the biggest challenges to living my faith are my own shortcomings, failings, weaknesses, and sin,” says Tim. “My own selfishness is what prevents me from the grace that Christ and His Church so desperately want to share with me. There is a tremendous need for spiritual directors and spiritual direction so that those of us stuck at a particular place in our faith journey might be able to advance.”
While Tim’s own parish in the Diocese of St. Cloud in Minnesota offers multiple opportunities for Tim to continue in his own faith development, the overall emphasis on using new tools to share the Good News is still very much in early stages. “My parish is active in the New Evangelization primarily through the programs it offers, such as dynamic parish Bible studies and educational offerings for adults and confirmation students,” says Tim. “The parish website is quite rudimentary, however, and neither the parish nor the pastor utilize social media. The Diocese has embraced some social media to engage in the New Evangelization, but is at the beginning stages. There is much more that both the parish and the diocese could be doing in this regard.”
When asked what more could be done to speed up and further these efforts, Tim identifies an all too common problem for evangelization efforts within the Church. “Funding certainly is a roadblock both at the parish and diocesan level,” Tim explains. “Both could be doing far more with technology and social media, but simply do not have a dedicated person or the funding to be as active as they might.”
Even still, Tim sees great promise in the future of New Evangelization. “I hope that it will be an opportunity for all the faithful to grow in their knowledge, love, and practice of the faith,” Says Tim. “Faith is a gift, but one that is meant to be shared. Christ told the apostles to ‘Go out to all the nations and baptize them.’ We are facing a time when ignorance of, and hostility toward, the Church are extraordinary. I would like to see the lay faithful of the Church use this opportunity to not only grow in their own faith, but to spread that to family members, friends, co-workers, and strangers so that more may come to know Christ and His Church.”
So how is Tim growing in his own faith himself?
“As British journalist and convert G.K. Chesterton once said, ‘The Church is much bigger on the inside than it is from the outside,'” quotes Tim. “Being Catholic is realizing just how much you don’t know, and admitting that you’ll never be able to learn everything there is to know about the Church. There’s much that is a mystery. As Catholics, we need to be comfortable with mystery.”
You can read years worth of articles from Tim Drake at the National Catholic Register’s website at www.ncregister.com.