Parish Evangelization Project (PEP)
The Parish Evangelization Project is a pilot initiative through the Diocese of Youngstown to identify and establish effective and ongoing evangelization programs in our individual parishes. The call for all of us to embrace this important work has never been stronger than it is right now. Pope John Paul, II, in Redemptoris Misso stated:
. . . it is painfully clear that many Catholics (and other Christians) have not been effectively incorporated into life in Christ. Baptized as infants many have never made a personal commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ and the Gospel. As adolescents and adults many drift away from the Church. Evangelization must be directed to the Church itself . . .
This passage eloquently states the challenge that we as Catholics face. Our first step in effective evangelization must begin from within our own ranks. We are challenged to identify ways to strengthen our community by 'taking parish to the people'. To this end, we will be participating in volunteer training, self assessment, and the development and execution of a plan to renew and revitalize our presence in the community.
In an effort to bring the Good News of Jesus into every human situation and seeking to convert individuals and society by the divine power of the Gospel itself, St. Joseph's began it's Parish Evangelization Project (PEP) in 2013. Born during parish meetings with Fr. Tom Sweetser, SJ, and Fr. Nick Shori, Director of the Office of Evangelization at the Diocese of Youngstown, a core group of parishioners, both young and not so, have been working together to develop a plan of action to develop small group ministries in our parish that are geared to young adults and families.
The first endeavor was the Photo Booth at St. Joseph's 50th Ox Roast Fair. Everyone was encouraged to fill out a survey to help assess the involvement, needs, and wants of the people. A fun, Hawaiian themed Photo Booth added to the festivities.
St. Joseph Church’s Community Service Day, "Walk With Us", was held on Saturday, September 14, 2013. The project involved collecting paper products, laundry and kitchen cleaning products, and personal hygiene items for the 4C’s here in Mantua and for Catholic Charities in Portage and Stark Counties, performing at area nursing homes, working on the grounds here at St. Joseph’s Parish and more. Donations from parishioners were also collected. The day was for everyone in our parish community, the active and inactive, young and old, parents and children, registered parishioners who don’t attend and those unaffiliated with any community, and anyone who wanted to lend a hand. The community service day was a success with nearly 50 people participating in our local paper products drive, helping clean up our soccer field, and singing at an area nursing home facility. Many thanks to all who helped make this a great day.
Watch for more Parish Evangelization news.
Questions? Please contact our parish coordinator, Peg Haney (330-274-2268) or any of our committee members: Marianne Berzinskas, Conor & Michelle Clayton, Jay & Greg D’Aurelio, Bill Davies, Mary Ann Feddor, Kendall & Dane Engelhart, Allison Haas, Jack Haney, Marv & Linda Litz, and Bethany Stanley.