This is part 3 of a 3-part series. View Part 1 and Part 2.


Joe, a faithful Catholic lay person, can be mobilized to do more than run a parish program. But right now, he doesn’t have the formation he needs. He doesn’t know how to deepen his prayer life. His sacramental worldview is immature. He hasn’t been formed to be compassionate to people with different views than his own. He isn’t formed to live out his baptismal calling as an apostle in the world. Joe needs formation. What if instead of being invited to volunteer, Joe is invited to be formed? This is the urgent task before us if we are to become a truly apostolic Church. Every Catholic must be formed as an apostolic disciple of Jesus.


Apostolic mission by the engine of the laity is innovative, entrepreneurial, custom-made, and mobile. It is the principle of subsidiarity applied to mission. It is everyday Catholics wrestling with the realities of their unbelieving friends, letting the Holy Spirit lead them to creative, empathetic ways of engaging others more deeply. This, of course, depends on mature lay people who have an apostolic consciousness, driven by apostolic attitudes, and equipped with apostolic skills.


Deep apostolic formation is a necessary component to the ultimate fruitfulness of the Eucharistic Revival.


Right now, I fear that the Eucharistic Revival initiatives attracting the most enthusiasm among ministry leaders lend themselves to the old mindset. Local catechetical initiatives, diocesan Eucharistic Congresses, and nationwide Eucharistic Processions are beautiful, but if they encompass the fullness of our pastoral hopes, this effort will simply be another failure of the old paradigm. 


If we, however, embrace the missionary thrust of the Eucharistic Revival and double down on the formation and equipping of every Catholic in the pews for this kind of witnessing and disciple making, we will transform the apostolic identity and fruitfulness of the Church. We will reach the existential peripheries with the presence of Jesus. We will, by the power of the Holy Spirit, draw these peripheries to our Eucharistic Lord present on the altar. We will ignite a new appreciation for lay mission. We will demonstrate that the laity are reliable Eucharistic engines of evangelization and the parish is perfectly suited to be Eucharistic fuel for their engines.


Jason Simon is the President of the Evangelical Catholic. The Evangelical Catholic’s mission is to equip Catholics to live out the Great Commission. Learn more.


Read More Like This