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What is Be My Witness?

Be My Witness: Formation for the New Evangelization is a process that equips parishes to transform themselves into “centers of constant missionary activity” and their parishioners into missionary disciples. It is inspired by Pope Francis’ landmark document on evangelization, The Joy of the Gospel.

What is the New Evangelization?

The New Evangelization is a movement in which active Catholics offer the Gospel, through word and example, to Catholics who have drifted away or have consciously broken with the Church, and witness to the Gospel by sharing their faith and bringing to life in acts of mercy, charity, and justice.

How will Be My Witness help my parish with the New Evangelization?

Be My Witness will form and train the pastor, pastoral staff, pastoral council, key parish leaders, and all parishioners to make the parish itself more welcoming effective across five key areas of evangelization and transform its members into missionary disciples who will carry out the New Evangelization as part of their everyday lives.

What can Be My Witness do for my parish?

Be My Witness can bring new vitality to your parish by making it a more welcoming, evangelizing environment for worshippers and visitors and by converting parishioners from passive consumers of sacraments to missionary disciples who carry the Gospel with them and spread it wherever they go.

What does it mean to be a missionary disciple?

Being a missionary disciple means witnessing to the Gospel beyond the walls of the church—in your family, at work, in the whole community—by talking about your faith and living it through acts of mercy, charity, and justice.

How can Be My Witness help me grow as a missionary disciple?

Be My Witness can help you grow as a missionary disciple by inviting you to join a small group in which you will pray, read and reflect on Scripture, hear the faith stories of other Catholics, share your own story, and commit yourself to put your faith into practice through specific acts. The participant materials specifically focus on highlighting the attitudes and behaviors of missionary disciples.

How is Be My Witness distinct from other RENEW processes?

Be My Witness is distinctive because it consists of two phases. The first phase, which is unique to this RENEW process, is designed to form the pastor, pastoral staff, pastoral council, and other key parish leaders in the important aspects of New Evangelization and then lead the transformation of the parish into a “center of constant missionary outreach.” The first phase also provides the instructions and materials for conducting a parish assessment the RENEW Parish Assessment to determine what aspects of parish life are effective for evangelization and what aspects present opportunities for growth. The second phase is designed to attract members of the parish to join small groups in which prayer, reflection, and commitment will transform participants into missionary disciples. These participants can then be engaged further in the parishes plan for future evangelization outreach.

How long does it take to complete the Be My Witness program?

The entire program, Phases 1 and 2, takes from eighteen to twenty four months to complete.

How do I order resources for Be My Witness?

To order by telephone, toll free, call 1-888-433-3221.

What is Phase 1 of Be My Witness?

In Phase 1, your pastor, pastoral staff, pastoral council, and other key leaders will explore five key features of evangelizing parishes. The RENEW Parish Assessment determines what aspects of parish life are working well and what aspects present opportunities for growth. Together they will develop a shared vision for the parish and then they will create a plan to implement that vision.

Who in my parish participates in Phase 1 of Be My Witness?

What individuals participate in Phase 1 will vary from parish to parish, depending on who is part of the key leadership. In general, participants will include your pastor, pastoral staff, members of your pastoral council, and other lay or religious men and women who are in leadership roles in the parish.

What is the role of the pastor in Phase 1?

The pastor calls together and works with the staff, pastoral council, and other key parish leaders to foster understanding of the New Evangelization at every level of parish life. While the team may choose another facilitator for the team’s meetings and activities, the pastor provides essential leadership to this team as it conducts and evaluates a parish assessment, formulates a vision for the parish and a strategy to carry it out, and engages as many people as possible in the journey to missionary discipleship. The pastor plans with key parish leaders and the parish small-groups team so that Be My Witness can become a total parish process to form evangelizers and foster the mission of evangelization in the parish as a whole.

How long does it take to do Phase 1 of Be My Witness?

Phase 1 takes about six to twelve months to complete.

Why do I have to register on bemywitness.org?

Your parish must be registered in order to have access to printed and digital resources that support the Be My Witness process.

What if my parish wants to use only Phase 1? Do we have to use both phases of Be My Witness?

Phase 1 is only the first step in transforming your parish into an evangelizing community. Even before Phase 1 ends, the parish small-groups team will begin implementing Phase 2, in which the small groups that constitute the heart of the Be My Witness parish-wide experience will be formed and will start meeting. It is from these groups that parishioners will emerge as missionary disciples—the goal of the process.