The Missionary Preacher
One of the Church's first and most effective methods of evangelization was that of the missionary preacher. The approach was so successful, that time and time again the missionary helped to turn whole peoples and nations towards Jesus Christ.
For example, when the Irish needed to hear about Jesus and the God of the Trinity, it was St. Patrick that brought the knowledge to them.
When India needed the light of Christ and the grace to live in an often hostile religious environment, it was St. Thomas who brought the Word of God to them.
And when the Slavic peoples needed not just the Word of God but a written language for it to be transmitted to them, saints Cyril and Methodius were there to do God's will.
Over and over again, it was the simple but powerful message of a few who were able to turn the tide in villages, towns and ultimately places of power.
It is for this reason that we too are sending out a missionary preacher as a means to make real and lasting change for parishes and the communities they serve.
The Parish Mission
When a missionary preacher steps into our parishes, there is a sudden awareness that though the power of God is at work in the world, for this moment - for this brief amount of time - the larger Church is turning its attention and all of its grace to the few who occupy our pews.
And because we Catholics feel this, there is often a longing, a pull even, in the baptized to not only be present at the parish mission but respond to this grace.
It is in this way that the parish mission acts as a great net, capturing the hearts of men and women (and often entire communities) as those in attendance decide to make a break from their old lives and strive for something better.
It is for this reason that we offer parish missions as often as five times during the year and we encourage parishes throughout the English speaking world to consider hosting at least one of them.