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What’s Next? Post-Convocation Resources

 

The success of the Convocation is not what happened in July 2017, but what happens next – in the days, weeks, months, and years beyond this historic gathering to advance a next chapter of evangelization and the formation of missionary disciples across the United States.

The goal of the Convocation was for Catholic leaders to be inspired by the joy of the Gospel, fueled by Pope Francis' call in Evangelii Gaudium, and to be sent out in their dioceses, parishes, apostolates, movements, and organizations to form missionary disciples.

This page will be regularly updated to assist those who attended the Convocation of Catholic Leaders, as well as those who participated digitally, through the live-streaming, watching the Convocation on television, and those who have engaged the content for the first time on these web pages who are interested in furthering the call to missionary discipleship wherever they may be.

Thank you for your witness to the joy of the Gospel!  


Next Steps


Below are suggested next steps after the Convocation. For more information, see the Participant Guidebook and Journal, pages 57-61 (PDF or e-book).

Post-Convocation Delegation Meetings

Meet with your delegation after the Convocation in order to pray together and "de-brief" on your experiences, both individually and as a team. Include other collaborators as well. Create a list of the ideas or themes from the Convocation that will affect your work and map out goals and next steps. Items for discussion might include the following:

  1. Looking Back: Name three things (insights, experiences, interactions, etc.) from the Convocation that stood out for you. What impacted you most?

  2. Looking Back: Have each delegate share what they learned/discussed during the various breakout sessions they attended that would be helpful for the larger team.

  3. Moving Forward: What are the implications of Pope Francis's call to missionary conversion in Evangelii Gaudium (EG) for your particular diocese, organization, etc.? How does EG and the Convocation complement and challenge your team's realities and experiences?

  4. Moving Forward: Chart out three strategic, measurable, and attainable goals for your diocese, organization, etc., to which your team might contribute. Consider, in the light of EG, what defines "success" for your team and how missionary discipleship can be fostered. What steps, both short and long-term, would be necessary to achieve these goals? Read and discuss the USCCB Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis' statement Living as Missionary Disciples: A Resource for Evangelization, to assist in your pastoral planning.

  5. Before ending the session, schedule the next meeting or concrete step of action to advance the conversation and work.

Organize a Local Event or Synod

Consider hosting a similar event at your parish, diocese, or organization. You can follow the same format as the Convocation, or adapt it to your needs. Evangelii Gaudium is a rich resource for discussion. Be sure to include sufficient time for liturgy and other moments of prayer. One format would be as follows:

  1. Celebrate your unity in the joy of the Gospel

  2. Report and reflect on the landscape of your area

  3. Remind leaders of the call to missionary discipleship and evangelization

  4. Look to the peripheries of the community

  5. Explore practical strategies, possibly inviting experts

  6. Chart out concrete plans for taking the next step in evangelization

  7. Reflect on the calling to be "Spirit-filled evangelizers" and pray for the grace to move forward

Consider using the videos, audio files, and texts from the Convocation (as well as other resources that were foundational documents to the 2017 event) as a launching point for a local event or synod; you may even play them for those gathered, and have a dialogue and discussion afterwards.

Schedule Listening Sessions

Ask local leaders or the community in general to comment on the ideas shared during the Convocation. See if they match with what the people see. Ask for new ideas for evangelization.

Support Others, Near and Far

Hopefully you strengthened your relationships with people who live near you and work with you; nurture these relationships by arranging a regular time to get coffee, a monthly lunch meeting, a quarterly tennis match, or whatever seems to fit. Take the time to check in with one another about your goals for evangelization.

You probably met people from all over the country and have a stack of business cards at your desk or new friends or following on social media. Set aside an hour to write emails or make phone calls, or engage through social media, to connect with the various people you met.

Encourage the emerging leaders you met at the Convocation and all the young leaders in your community to continue in their good work serving Christ and the Church.

Also, pray for the next Synod of Bishops on "Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment." This will be a wonderful opportunity to encourage more youth and young adults in the Church to take up the mantle of missionary discipleship.

Spend some time in prayer for specific people you met at the Convocation.

Get Involved

There is always something going on in the Church! Try to pick one or two events or ministries outside of your "normal" duties to keep up with. Some ideas:

Pray, Reflect, and Examine

Take some quiet time after the Convocation to reflect on what the Holy Spirit inspired in you during the event or through the people that you met. Journal, read Scripture, look over your notes, and spend time consciously allowing the experience to "sink in," so that it does not become just a memory.

Continue this prayer and reflection over the next several weeks and months, examining yourself and also allowing opportunities for evaluation of your team's work in advancing next steps.

Resources


For more resources on missionary discipleship, evangelization, and other topics discussed at the Convocation of Catholic Leaders, see the "Appendix and Helpful Resources" in the Participant Guidebook and Journal, pages 61-65 (PDF or e-book).

Read Pope Francis's Apostolic Exhortation on The Joy of the Gospel (Evangelii Gaudium), 2013.

Read Living as Missionary Disciples: A Resource for Evangelization, from the USCCB Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis, 2017.


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