There are many ways to join the Archbishop's Commission for Missionary Disciples in our mission to create a culture of missionary disciples in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The primary way is prayer and your own personal response to Jesus' command to "make disciples" in your sphere of influence. Below are some additional ways you can be involved.
For a list of upcoming missionary discipleship events, visit phillyevang.org/events.
And, subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter to stay up to date on ways to get trained in missionary discipleship and how to launch a movement in your sphere of influence. To preview and subscribe, visit phillyevang.org/newsletter.
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Till the Soil in Your Neck of the Woods
As the Commission works on projects and initiatives for the conversion of our local Church to a culture of missionary discipleship, you can get started in your neck of the woods, whether it be your family, parish, school or other ministry. By launching a movement for missionary disciple formation, you are helping to foster the transformation of our local Church.
To find a list of Missionary Disciple Formation ministries that can help you get started, visit phillyevang.org/disciples.
The books, videos and articles below come highly recommended by the members of the Archbishop's Commission for Missionary Disciples, past and present. They are excellent resources for becoming acquainted with the great mission to make missionary disciples:
Minta recommends: Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), by Pope Francis (Spanish)
Rolando recommends: The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Faith, from the 2012 Synod of Bishops (Spanish)
Jane recommends: Free online course, Discipleship with Julianne Stanz, offered by Revive Parishes (For free access to Revive, visit archphila.org/revive.)
Fr. Biedrzycki recommends: Book, Foundations for Discipleship, by Curtis Martin and Edward Sri (Also available as separate articles online here)
Also available in Spanish
Gina recommends: Book, Forming Intentional Disciples, by Sherry Weddell (Spanish)
Maria recommends: Book, One Disciple at a Time: How to Lead Others to Dynamic, Engaged, Life-Changing Faith, by Everett Fritz
Miriam recommends: Documentary in Spanish, Quinto Obispo de Veracruz, san Rafael Guizar y Valencia
Sr. Maeve recommends: Book, From Christendom to Apostolic Mission: Pastoral Strategies for an Apostolic Age, by Msgr. James P. Shea (Spanish)
Meghan recommends: Book, The Soul of the Apostolate, by Fr. Jean-Baptiste Chautard, OCSO (Spanish)
Kurt recommends: Book, The Lost Art of Disciple Making, by LeRoy Elms and Robert Coleman
Msgr. McCulken recommends: Book, Making Missionary Disciples, by Curtis Martin
Chris recommends: Book, In the School of the Holy Spirit, by Jacques Philippe
Paola recommends: Booklet, Living as Missionary Disciples, by the USCCB (Spanish)
Jaime and Jeanne recommend: Book, The Activated Disciple, by Jeff Cavins
Below you will find some favorite quotations from our Commission Members, past and present. Use them to be inspired and also share them with others to help spread the word about our mission to evangelize:
Miriam's favorite: "I was ordained to save souls." St. Rafael Guizar y Valencia, Fifth Bishop of Veracruz
Sr. Linda's favorite: “Whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things …I want to know Christ – yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participate in his sufferings… I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” Philippians 3: 7-8, 10-12
Msgr. McCulken's favorite: “Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”” Mt 28:18-20
Wanda's favorite: “…the vital core of the new evangelization must be a clear and unequivocal proclamation of the person of Jesus Christ, that is, the preaching of his name, his teaching, his life, his promises and the Kingdom which he has gained for us by his Paschal Mystery.” Pope St. John Paul II, Ecclesia in America #66, Apostolic Exhortation.
Chris' favorite: "To live without faith, without a patrimony to defend, without a steady struggle for truth - that is not living, but merely existing." -Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati
Kurt's favorite: “Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction” (n. 1, Deus Caritas Est). Likewise, at the root of all evangelization lies not a human plan of expansion, but rather the desire to share the inestimable gift that God has wished to give us, making us sharers in his own life." Benedict XVI’s Motu Proprio, September 21, 2010
Fr. Biedrzycki's favorite: “…it is important always to know that the first word, the true initiative, the true activity comes from God and only by inserting ourselves into the divine initiative, shall we be able to become – with him and in him – evangelizers.” Pope Benedict XVI, Meditation during the First General Congregation, 10/8/2012
Jane's favorite: "’Rescued people, rescue people.’ When someone experiences the radical transformation that Jesus brings, they can't help but do everything possible to share the message of the gospel one-on-one with others, and to transform institutions, structures, and everything else they encounter in order to help God get his world back." Riccardo, John. Rescued: The Unexpected and Extraordinary News of the Gospel. The Word Among Us Press, 2020.
Gina's favorite: “Jesus Christ loves you; he gave his life to save you; and now he is at your side every day to enlighten, strengthen and free you." Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium (Joy of the Gospel), par. 164
Meghan's favorite: “The first word, the true initiative, the true activity comes from God and only by inserting ourselves in to the divine initiative, only by begging this divine initiative, will we too be able to become — with him and in him — evangelizers.” Pope Benedict XVI, Meditation, Synod of Bishops, October 2012
Minta's favorite: “To be evangelizers of souls, we need to develop a spiritual taste for being close to people’s lives and to discover that this is itself a source of greater joy. To be Mission is at once a passion for Jesus and a passion for his people.” Pope Francis, The Joy of The Gospel #268
Maria's favorite: “My little one—come—come—carry Me into the holes of the poor.—Come be My light.—I cannot go alone—they don’t know Me—so they don’t want Me. You come—go amongst them, carry Me with you into them.” Jesus to St. Teresa of Calcutta
Sr. Maeve's favorite: “For the religious, the only measurement of success is precisely this: that I have emptied myself, I have given myself over totally and entirely to the Will of Almighty God. My response to the 'I will not serve' of Adam and Eve, is 'Here I am Lord. Send me. I will serve.' The response to the disobedience of the world is the response of Mary: 'Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done to me according to thy word.'" Cardinal O’Connor, 4th Discernment Retreat to the Sisters of Life; July 5, 1992 Morning Conference: The Vow of Obedience
Fr. Hennelly's favorite: "I dream of a 'missionary option', that is, a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channeled for the evangelization of today’s world rather than for her self-preservation. The renewal of structures demanded by pastoral conversion can only be understood in this light: as part of an effort to make them more mission-oriented, to make ordinary pastoral activity on every level more inclusive and open, to inspire in pastoral workers a constant desire to go forth and in this way to elicit a positive response from all those whom Jesus summons to friendship with himself." Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium 27
David's favorite: "Allow me to go immediately to the heart of my message. Here it is: Jesus Christ needs you to build His Kingdom on earth. And the Church needs your special talents, as individuals to carry out her mission of communicating Christ." - Pope John Paul II
John's favorite: "Christ has no body but yours, no hands, no feet on earth but yours, yours are the eyes with which He looks with compassion on this world..." St. Teresa of Avila