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Bold Faith - The Power of Catholic Evangelization Through Storytelling

Posted on September 13, 2023 in: News

Bold Faith - The Power of Catholic Evangelization Through Storytelling

Do you remember the last time you heard a good story? It’s easy to become captivated by a compelling narrative or a fascinating myth. From novels or warm conversations over dinner to movies or even music, stories capture our imagination and shape the way we think about the world. As Catholics, we are confronted by a host of narratives that compete with, and often contradict, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We know, however, that God has revealed the true story of the whole world. The story of Christ is, as C.S. Lewis put it, “the true myth.” Jesus isn’t just part of the story; HE IS THE STORY.

Under the leadership of Bishop Cote and guided by the Holy Spirit, sharing the story of Christ with as many people as possible within the Diocese of Norwich (and beyond) is the driving force behind the Ministry of the Office of Communications.

The Office of Communications serves as the communications and media liaison within the Office of the Bishop, Chancery and diocesan ministry offices, which spans New London, Middlesex, Tolland and Windham counties in Connecticut, as well as Fishers Island in New York. The Office of Communications handles all press releases and contact with media outlets, offering both information and insight on issues pertaining to the diocese. The public relations component fields inquiries, providing prompt answers and direction. At the crux of the ministry, though, is evangelization.

The Communications Ministry continues to spread the Good News in various formats, some old, some innovative. Masses and special events, including concerts and pontifical events, are livestreamed from the Cathedral of St. Patrick.

A relatively new endeavor is the Four County Catholic Weekly Newsletter, in which all local diocesan news, information and events can be found. Readers can also enjoy a mix of national news and inspiring articles in each issue. To receive this free weekly newsletter, please visit NorwichDiocese.org/Newsletter to sign up.

In December 2022, Wayne Gignac, director of communications and executive editor of the Four County Catholic, along with the communications team and a host of talented contributing writers, embarked on transforming the way in which the ministry shared the Gospel through print media.

The Four County Catholic, which was launched in 1989, evolved from a monthly newspaper with content focused on diocesan news into a bimonthly magazine format, centered upon the message of faith-in-action and living out the Gospel in daily life.

“There’s something to be said about the power of storytelling. Jesus used parables to connect with people. That’s what we’re striving to do,” Wayne explained. “With the magazine, we tried to create something that serves two purposes: one is to communicate the Gospel, but also, we wanted the magazine to act as a tool for people to evangelize on their own. Maybe they have an adult child who has fallen away from the Church. Or, maybe they’d like to share an article on marriage, or on forgiveness.”

One of the most significant advantages of storytelling in spreading the Gospel is its ability to foster empathy and create connections. Whether walking dusty roads with His disciples or preaching to a crowd of thousands, Jesus used parables to share His message.

Matthew 13:34 says, “Jesus used stories when he spoke to the people. In fact, he did not tell them anything without using stories.” People could relate because Jesus’ stories spoke to the profound and timeless needs of humanity.

In today’s fast-paced digital age, the art of storytelling remains as pertinent as ever. Social media platforms, podcasts and blogs provide new avenues to share stories and reach a broader audience.

Moving forward, the Ministry of the Office of Communications would like to continue to build upon the momentum, sharing stories, connecting people and growing the faith. “Eventually, we’d like to expand our reach on social media platforms,” Wayne said. “Maybe even develop a podcast.”

The Office of Communications would like to continue to ensure that the Gospel remains accessible and relevant in an ever-changing world. However, doing so is a monumental feat.

Once a year, the Communications Ministry appeals to the generosity of you, faithful reader, to help defray the costs of our print, online and email editions of the Four County Catholic. We humbly ask that you prayerfully consider supporting our cause. Every donation — no matter what size — will enable us to extend our reach, amplify our efforts and bring hope to the hearts of countless individuals. You may contribute by filling out the enclosed envelope and mailing it to the Office of Communications, 25 Otis St., Norwich, CT 06360, or by visiting NorwichDiocese.org/FCCGIVE, and clicking the “donate” link.

We remain grateful for your generosity, encouragement and prayers.

By Andrea DePaola

Help Us Spread the Word with Your Gift

Your 100% tax deductible gift will help us continue to bring the gospel message and the news of the diocese to the faithful throughout eastern Connecticut and the world. Your generosity helps defray the production costs of our print, online, and email newsletter editions of the Four County Catholic, as well as enhancing our Social Media presence. 
 

For those who would rather mail their gift click here.

 


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    Roman Catholic Diocese of Norwich
    201 Broadway
    Norwich, CT 06360-4328
    Phone: 860-887-9294