Brisbane Emmanuel Community moderator Pat Keady says evangelisation is the Church’s greatest need. Source: The Catholic Leader.
“I view evangelisation as the Catholic Church’s greatest need because I was a young person in particular who needed evangelisation,” Mr Keady said.
He said growing up and going to university, it was protestant evangelicals that successfully evangelised him.
It was only years later he went on “a long journey home” to the Catholic Church. Mr Keady said evangelisation was deeply personal to him because it was part of his story.
“If I wasn’t reached out to … I do wonder where my life direction would have gone and the values I would have would probably be extremely different,” he said.
Evangelisation is at the heart of all Emmanuel Community’s ministries, a community born out of the charismatic renewal.
One of their ministries, Blind Eye in South Brisbane, is a place where the marginalised and the homeless can come and seek help.
“But even they (Blind Eye) see their primary ministry not as service providing but as evangelisation,” Mr Keady said. “To bring the Kingdom, the Gospel, (to bring) those people to the person of Jesus. Because as Pope Francis said himself, if you know something as important and powerful as a relationship with Christ, it’s actually an injustice to hold it back and not share it.”
Another ministry called Mother Effect, pioneered by Emmanuel Community member Caroline McCormack, raises up the relationship between mothers and their children in the domestic church.
“That’s all about evangelising your own children and being a witness to other parents about what’s possible,” he said.
Another group in need of evangelisation was young people. Mr Keady said Emmanuel Community’s dynamic youth ministry, Ignite Youth, had a unique way of bringing young people back to church – by not trying to “bring them back to church”.
He said if you provide environments that are in their culture and speak their language, young people are “very open to the Gospel”.
“They’re much more open to the person of Jesus than we give them credit for,” he said.