Institute for New Evangelisation focuses on parish leadership

Amidst the global chaos, the Catholic Church has managed to stay relevant by adapting to the new norms and embracing the gift of technology. We are still able to ‘attend’ Mass, Rosary sessions and BEC gatherings through Zoom.

Sep 18, 2021

Parish leaders throughout Peninsular Malaysia participating in the PLTT sessions.


By Carmel Dominic

Amidst the global chaos, the Catholic Church has managed to stay relevant by adapting to the new norms and embracing the gift of technology. We are still able to ‘attend’ Mass, Rosary sessions and BEC gatherings through Zoom.

The virtual era that we are now living in, allows us to conduct faith formation programmes that reach out to a bigger audience, both inside and outside the Church. Permitting outsiders to experience the Catholic Church first-hand gives us the opportunity to fulfil our baptismal call to become missionaries and evangelise for Christ. There is a great need for us Catholics to understand the deeper meaning of evangelisation.

The term evangelisation is relatively new for Catholics because it wasn’t part of our practice prior to Vatican II. Evangelism simply means the ‘spreading of good news’. By virtue of our baptism, we are commissioned by the Holy Spirit to be missionaries for Christ. Just like our Saviour Servant, we all have the responsibility to speak about the Good News. The role of missionaries isn’t meant for just priests and clergy anymore. We are all in it together.

Taking into consideration the fact that embracing this role, particularly in a virtual era, can be challenging, the Institute for New Evangelisation (INE) embarked on a project to encourage the Catholic community to ‘get into action.’ Starting at the leadership level at parishes, the INE produced a Parish Leaders Transformation Training (PLTT) which not only aimed to mobilise parish leaders into action at the onset of the pandemic but to also make them more efficient, relatable, and adaptable leaders. The INE reached out to the Bishops of Peninsular Malaysia to support this initiative. The PLTT was subsequently launched by Bishop Bernard Paul together with Bishop Sebastian and Archbishop Julian Leow on July 23. A total of 113 participants from parishes across Peninsular Malaysia attended the six online sessions which took place from July 24 to August 28.

Each session was about two hours long and participants were broken up into discussion groups at the end of every session to share their views on the session and to do simple activities prepared by the speakers. The programme was deemed a success since 85 per cent of the participants responded positively to a post-event survey on whether they would consider participating in a follow-up training module.

INE has two upcoming events, the Leaders Idea Sharing Session (Oct 9) and the PLTT in Bahasa Malaysia in November.

Those interested in learning more about the INE can contact Jeanne J Saw at jeannejsaw@gmail.com.

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