About time. The apostolic nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Pietro Sambi, has told the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops that it's high time Catholics get serious about evangelizing. Of course this can mean many things, and the reasons why the Catholic Church in America is floundering in terms of evangelism are legion, for they are many. It takes a parish, diocese, and national Church committed to evangelising, finding ways to proclaim the Gospel by deed and by word, and making darn sure when people show up to see what all the fuss is about, they aren't made to feel like someone just dropped in the middle of the Amazon basin.
I studied both history and theology, but when I first began visiting local area Catholic churches, I was as lost as I ever could have been. Nothing made sense, and I was already pretty well versed in the liturgical rites of the Anglican communion. I still had to wonder what was happening. My wife and kids, raised solely in the Baptist tradition, were even more confused about what was happening. With no family or friends in the Church to guide us, we were as confused as I ever had hoped to be. Finding ways to break down those walls of wonder, making sure visitors are treated like guests, making sure we Catholics aren't inadvertently living up to anti-Catholic stereotypes, and being sure that the leadership of the Church is involved and supportive are all essential elements to effective spreading of the Good News.