A Creative Key to Evangelical Outreach
As we enter the holy season of Lent and prepare for Easter, let us encourage our brother Knights of Columbus to respond with the appropriate “missionary outreach [which] is paradigmatic for all the Church’s activity” as Pope Francis says in Evangelii Gaudium (15). Many of our K of C councils already plan events such as Lenten fish fries, simple meatless meals and the anticipated coffee and donuts after Mass — these events provide an opportunity for hospitable encounters for evangelization as they allow families to congregate and support the building up of the domestic church.
In addition to these events, which provide parishioners regular opportunities to begin engaging in parish life, it is incumbent on pastors and chaplains to equip and encourage our brother Knights to do more. Invite them to reach out to returning Catholics and seekers who are in the initial stages of faith development. The Holy Father speaks of “the baptized whose lives do not reflect the demands of baptism, who lack a meaningful relationship to the Church and no longer experience the consolation born of faith.” Your local council — by inviting others to join in the charity that evangelizes and by offering the personal witness of committed prayerful men — can become the vehicle which “tries to help them experience a conversion which will restore the joy of faith to their hearts and inspire a commitment to the Gospel” (15).
Lent attractively offers all believers an annual time to recommit to ardent works of charity that evangelize and to return to the practice of the sacraments. Seek out the committed men in your local Knights of Columbus council and invite them to engage anew in the pastoral mission of outreach to those whose faith is being stirred into flame. Recalling Pope Francis’ challenge in Evangelii Gaudium, let us think again about ways your local brother Knights can creatively be agents of evangelization. “Pastoral ministry in a missionary key seeks to abandon the complacent attitude that says: ‘We have always done it this way.’ I invite everyone to be bold and creative in this task of rethinking the goals, structures, style and methods of evangelization in their respective communities” (33).