FAITH offers a new column, Discipleship 101, based on Sherry Weddell’s books, Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus (2012) and Fruitful Discipleship: Living the Mission of Jesus in the Church and the World (2017). Sherry is a leading voice in the Catholic world in the field of forming missionary disciples – engaged Catholics who strive to grow as disciples of Jesus and go evangelize, sharing the Gospel with others.
Pictured right: Pope Francis arrives with Myanmaris State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi for a meeting with members of the civil society and diplomatic corps in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, on Nov. 28, 2017.
Feast Day: Feb. 8
Kidnapped. Beaten. Sold. So traumatized she forgot her own name. This is the horrifying beginning of the story of St. Josephine Bakhita.
Now an intentional disciple of Christ, an employee of the Diocese of Lansing and an involved parishioner, Cheryl Olsen sees that the Lord has gently and patiently called her closer to himself throughout her life. Early on, the clear and contagious witness of Cheryl’s grandfather was a model of evangelization. “My grandfather converted to Catholicism when I was 13, and when I saw what he was doing and experiencing, I begged my mom to put me through classes so I could become Catholic too. I was baptized when I was 14,” she says.
In 2017, Theology 101 is focusing on the topic of evangelization. Specifically, the task is to offer some ways of approaching various questions Catholics may encounter from co-workers, family and friends regarding the practice of the faith. Of course, we must remember that nothing can replace the power of witnessing to the Good News through our own actions and words, combined with our willingness to accompany others on their faith journey.