CCO: A Catalyst in the New Evangelization

Catalyst: something that causes an important event to happen.

Over the past 20 years, CCO has been a catalyst for leaders in the Church. Sunday night and all day Monday was no exception. On the heels of the closing of the Synod, CCO brought together an international group of leaders whom are active in campus evangelization on countries including: Slovenia, Italy, Australia, Africa, USA, India, U.K., and Canada. We felt called to do this because we knew that the Synod would be a defining moment for the Church and we felt called to bring leaders together to share this moment. We called this event, “Friends in the New Evangelization on Campus”.

We were blessed to have a number special guests to help inform our discussions: Fr. Thomas Rosica, English Media Secretary to the Synod; Archbishop Gerald Lacroix, Synod Father; Dr. Ralph Martin, Synod Expert; Cardinal Donald Wuerl, General Relator of the Synod; and Archbishop Fisichella, Synod Father and President of the Pontifical Council on Promotion of New Evangelization. Add to that all the amazing leaders that also attended and you have an explosive reaction! Our catalytic role was affirmed by all the leaders who came. They thanked us over and over for bringing them altogether. Many new friendships were formed and we were mutually encouraged by sharing of ideas and challenges. I had the great privilege of facilitating the discussion and making connections with all these special guests and leaders who expressed appreciation for CCO.

One of the participants from the United States described his appreciation by describing CCO as leaven or yeast. Interestingly, Luke’s gospel for today describes this:

“To what shall I compare the Kingdom of God? It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch of dough was leavened.”

This is an interesting image. The yeast is in many ways small and unseen, yet, it has a tremendous effect on the entire dough. Without the yeast the bread is a flop, literally. The yeast allows everything around it to rise.

CCO may be small, compared with some international movements, yet the Lord has chosen us to be a catalyst, to be a movement that causes something important to happen, to help the whole Church to rise in its potential. We have experienced this role in the past and I have no doubt that we will continue to use this charism. Especially as we return home, our movement will have a special role in being a catalyst for the New Evangelization and the renewal of the world.

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