March 28, 2011

Edmonton — This year’s Stewardship Days conference highlighted one of three pastoral priorities that Archbishop Richard Smith established for the Edmonton Archdiocese: evangelization, faith formation and nurturing a vocations culture.

Regardless of their role in their parishes, the common thread among those present was acknowledging the need to spread the Gospel message and the need for new evangelization, pastoral outreach to those who have fallen from the Church.


“I have a difficult time evangelizing, and I thought this might be another opening to help me learn how to do that,” said Cindy Boffey, a member of St. Stephen’s Parish in Olds who wants to further her involvement with the parish.

Working with the sacristans, Boffey wants to learn more regarding being open about her Catholic faith, and feeling at ease in sharing it with those outside of the church setting.

When it comes to evangelization, the underlying message that resonated with her was, “Be yourself. We have to take what we believe in ourselves and practise it in everyday life. Instead of trying to be preachy, just go live it.”

Maxine Cherwonka is chairperson of the liturgical committee at St. Vital Parish in Beaumont. She wanted to learn more effective means of evangelizing and how to bring all of the parishioners together in the worship.

“I want to bring the newer parishioners into the group, and make them feel like they are part of the parish,” Cherwonka said. “We try to visit with everyone we know, and these new people we have to make them feel welcome and wanting to be a part of the parish.”