Recommended Reading

As I was cleaning off my desk in preparation for the holidays, I came across an issue of Catechetical Leader Magazine that I had saved because it contained one of the best articles I’ve read all year. It’s by Matt Halbach, director of the St. Joseph Educational Center in Des Moines, Iowa, and it’s titled New Pope, New Evangelization, New Return to Old (but Good) Ideas.”

Matt makes an excellent point that, while the New Evangelization needs a new attitude and new forms of expression, it also requires a new starting point. He goes on to argue for the need for pre-evangelization which, as he explains, “more effectively leads to conversion because it begins by first recognizing an individual’s own dignity and conscience, making attempts to meet people where they are at intellectually and existentially.” He goes on to explain that, “Pre-evangelization, therefore, is concerned with building positive, human relationships which are the bedrock of conversion.”In essence, he is saying that, before we attempt to sow the seeds of the Gospel, we need to till the soil. 

I encourage you to read it as we enter this final week of Advent!

New Pope, New Evangelization, New Return to Old (but Good) Ideas.”






About Joe Paprocki 2757 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at

4 Comments on Recommended Reading

  1. I cannot access “New Pope, New Evangelization, New Return to Old (but Good) Ideas.” Can you include the text of the article in your blog, or provide another link? Thanks!

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