The ChristLife team partnered with the Evangelization Office in the Diocese of Syracuse to present a Discovering Christ conference on July 17-18, 2015 at Holy Cross Church, where participants received training on the first part of the ChristLife evangelization process and engaged in opportunities for prayer and spiritual renewal.
Mary Hallman, director of the Evangelization Office in the Syracuse diocese, spread the word about Discovering Christ as a tool for parishes to use in their work of evangelization and stirred excitement for the ChristLife series. Lori, a conference participant said, “It’s exciting to see others excited about evangelizing and open to learning new things.” Over 100 people attended the Syracuse Discovering Christ conference–many from the Syracuse area, though a few traveled from outside of the diocese. One parish group traveled from Indiana!
Fr. Michael Saporito spoke of the benefits of Discovering Christ during his presentation on Friday night, saying, “We want people to discover Christ because once they’ve discovered Him they’re going to want to follow Him and they’re going to want to share Him. And then they’re going to want to learn all the treasury [found in the Catholic church].”
Saturday morning began with Mass where priests attending the conference concelebrated with Msgr. Yeazel, the pastor of Holy Cross Church, and Fr. Michael Saporito. The day continued with presentations by Dianne Davis and John Messina on running the course and the opportunity to participate in a practicum of the first session of Discovering Christ. After lunch, there was a time of prayer, a panel discussion, and a concluding presentation by Dave Nodar, director of ChristLife.
Conference participants had many positive things to say about their conference experience:
- “Meeting and sharing ideas with so many other committed people was great!”
- “I grew closer to my parish evangelization team.”
- “The power of prayer was evident and strengthened my sense of God in my life.”
- “I understand so much more about evangelization, the importance of the Holy Spirit in evangelization, and the need to evangelize before catechizing.”
Mark, also a conference participant, stated it was encouraging to see the diocese “bringing a plan for the New Evangelization that can be easily adapted and used by any parish in any setting.”