"The Christian faith is, above all, conversion to Jesus Christ. It is the fruit of God's grace and the free response to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. It arises from the depths of the human person and involves such a profound transformation of heart and mind that it causes the believer to change radically both internally and externally."

This compelling vision from the National Directory for Catechesis (17B) captures the essence of the goal of evangelization and catechesis, and also points to the complex nature of both. Fostering ongoing conversion to Jesus Christ, living discipleship carried out in action in the lives of parishioners, can at once be daunting as well as a meaningful life of ministry!

How do we begin? How do we sustain this vital way of life in our parishes and dioceses? Build bridges! Create a culture in which people build bridges to one another and through the community to Christ. Bridges is the ideal and proven way to engage people to live and grow as disciples, sending them out in mission. Think about the many people to whom you may build bridges: young adults, those preparing for marriage or baptism; parents of children who are participating in sacramental preparation, religious education or the parish school; those whose children no longer live at home; teens and their families; those who are involved in ministry; those who only come to the parish occasionally; those who currently do not have a relationship with Christ. There are so many bridges to be built! Let us begin to build them now, together!

Learn more about Bridges on this site, especially here. Download the Bridges White Paper here.

“In all its activities the parish encourages and trains its members to be evangelizers. It is a community of communities, a sanctuary where the thirsty come to drink in the midst of their journey, and a center of constant missionary outreach. We must admit, though, that the call to review and renew our parishes has not yet sufficed to bring them nearer to people, to make them environments of living communion and participation, and to make them completely mission-oriented.” (The Joy of the Gospel, 28)