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Catholics Take Up Protestant-Style Evangelism

The church has long emphasized social justice over door-to-door evangelism–but not anymore.

SHREWSBURY, Mo.–On a recent rainy Saturday, about 125 Catholics packed a basement conference room, many of them older, most of them lay people. Many were representing their parishes.

They gathered here to learn how to spread the faith, a concept that is both fundamental to Christianity and nearly foreign to modern Roman Catholics.

For the first hour of the conference, Kenneth Livengood, a parishioner at Holy Trinity Parish in St. Ann, Mo., detailed one way–door-to-door evangelization, a missionary strategy more familiar to Mormons or Jehovah's Witnesses.

"We've been tricked into thinking faith is a private matter," Livengood told the audience. "That's a lie. Faith is meant to be public, and there are many ways to share it."

He taught them how to form a door-to-door ministry, explained how to divide a boundary map of their parish into geographical sections, suggested useful handouts, gave safety tips, and showed videos that detailed the best way to respond to various reactions from those on ...

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