Here are reflections by three of the Hawaii delegates to the “Convocation of Catholic Leaders: The Joy of the Gospel in America” July 1-4 in Orlando, Florida. Bishop Larry Silva’s thoughts are on page 2.
Be bold and creative
By Lisa Gomes
Be bold. Be creative. Get out and go to the peripheries — make the joy of the Gospel real in the life of our communities and diocese. As a diocese, we need to form leaders in our parishes, schools, and organizations who will be equipped and re-energized to “Witness to Jesus” (Bishop’s motto) or, in the language of Pope Francis in “Evangelii Gaudium” (the basis for the convocation), to share the Gospel as missionary disciples.
Lisa Gomes is the director of the diocesan Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry
A simple, powerful message
By Joseph Oh
The key message I received from this past Convocation of Catholic Leaders was a simple, yet powerful message based on Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation, “Evangelii Gaudium” — spreading the joy of the Gospel. As missionaries for Christ, we are called to chart the landscape, go to our peripheries, and evangelize!
As radical disciples of various ministries, when we map out the scope of our mission, we are to not only include those that we already minister to, but to see past the boundaries and reach out to those who have been and are being neglected. If we only minister to the folks that fill up the pews every Sunday, how are we being an evangelist and missionary for Christ?
Just as Jesus focused on ministering to the weak and the lowly, we too are called to minister to the meek, mourning, persecuted, hungry and thirsty. And as radical disciples of the Lord, how are we to do this? With a strong spirit and by spreading the joy of the Gospel.
Joseph Oh is a campus minister at the University of Hawaii at Manoa
An incredible opportunity
By Kainoa Fukumoto
The gathering of Catholic leaders around the country presented an incredible opportunity for the church in the United States to shift our focus more intently on forming missionary disciples at all levels of our church life. This formation begins with a continual inward conversion that ultimately propels us to joyfully proclaim the Gospel and personally accompany others in their journey of faith.
We, as a diocese, must look at the unique challenges of the local church as well as identify the unique opportunities we have to be mission-minded Christians in a society that is becoming more and more secularized.
As a leader in young adult ministry in our diocese, one of my personal takeaways from this convocation will be to continue the work of outreach to those in their 20s and 30s through nurturing young adult ministries and communities especially in parishes and college campuses.
Fukumoto is the new principal of St. Michael School, Waialua.