Note from Lisa: This post is written by my Ã¼ber-talented friend Tom Quiner, a Des Moines musician and composer, who has written a new musical, The Wedding at Cana. This musicalÂ is designed for musical dinner theater. What a novel concept, eh? And you could bring this production to your neck of the woods as well. Tom has activated a Kickstarter campaign to raise $15,000 which will allow the work to be produced well beyond Des Moines — to “package” the musical so that parishes in dioceses across the country can replicate it.
For Tom, this is all ministry. He coins it Evangelization through Entertainment. And with Kickstarter, itâ€™s all or nothing — you raise it all or you get nothing.Â Not a penny. What great faith! As of this writing, the Kickstarter campaign is 68% funded with 11 days left to go. JoelÂ and I are supporters and we invite you to support thisÂ endeavor, too.
Take it away, Maestro Quiner.
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â€œHey, would you like to go to church with me?â€
What a nice, friendly way to be hospitable and evangelize your faith.
Protestants are much better at this than Catholics. Hereâ€™s the rub for Catholics: once they get their non-Catholic friends to Mass, they canâ€™t let them go up for Communion. You have to be Catholic.
Itâ€™s kind of uncomfortable to point to this passage in the Catholic Missal which says:
â€œBecause Catholics believe that the celebration of the Eucharist is a sign of the reality of the oneness of faith, life, and worship, members of those churches with whom we are not yet fully united are ordinarily not admitted to Holy Communion.â€
Your guest canâ€™t participate in the Supper of the Lamb. This kind of discourages Catholics from inviting non-Catholics to Mass. In fairness, Catholics may not take communion if they are in a state of mortal sin. They must first seek the Sacrament of Reconciliation which can absolve their sin(s).
Catholics very much honor the spirit of St. Paulâ€™s admonition from 1 Corinthians 11:27-32:
â€œTherefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment. When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world.â€
St. Paul believed, as did all Christians until a millennium and a half later, that the bread and wine are not mere symbols. They ARE Christ, body, soul, and divinity.
You can understand the Catholic view, even if you donâ€™t agree with it.
So how do Catholics evangelize?
With the way they live their lives.
With their reverence for the faith.
With the way they treat others.
The pro life movement has been a tremendous tool for Catholic evangelization, because for years, Catholics were the only ones standing up for the pre born. Eventually, our evangelical and fundamentalist Christian brothers and sisters discerned the same Truth as Catholics, that human life begins at conception.
Along the way, many pro lifers gravitated to the Catholic Church.
When Pope John Paul II was elected Pope, he called for a new evangelization in the Catholic Church. This effort has encompassed a wide range of efforts including an embrace of the new media. Check out the blogosphere and youâ€™ll discover a rich presence of quality Catholic blogs, the fruit of JPIIâ€™s call to action of Catholic laity.
Youâ€™ll see Catholics out feeding the poor.
Youâ€™ll see Catholics educating our kids and tending to our sick.
Youâ€™ll see Catholics standing up for the pre born, and taking care of the moms and the kids after theyâ€™re born.
I have noticed something I really like about Protestant evangelization: they do something Catholics used to do quite effectively, embrace the arts as a tool of evangelization. Iâ€™ve attended many faith-based musicals performed in Protestant churches, because I was asked to attend.
Stories of faith are a great way to evangelize, especially when set to music.
Pope Benedict saw the need for Catholic evangelization using the arts.Â He gathered artists at the Vatican in 2009 and challenged them to use their talents to evangelize Godâ€™s message.
I have answered that call.
I have embraced a ministry I call â€œEvangelization through Entertainment.â€ It evangelizes the richness and beauty of the Catholic faith using music and theater.
My current project is The Wedding at Cana Musical, and is intended to be performed as Catholic dinner theater. This is the kind of event Catholics can invite fallen away Catholics, Protestants, Jews, and even agnostics to. Itâ€™s a great way to get grown children back into church.
I am funding the project by running aÂ Kickstarter campaign. Can you help?
Click thisÂ link. Check out the campaign. I am humbly asking The Practicing CatholicÂ readers for support. There are only 11 days left in the campaign to hit our goal.