For over a decade now, Casting Nets Ministries has traveled the country proclaiming the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ and equipping Catholics to become missionary disciples. One of the primary means by which we accomplish this important work is through our dynamic Parish Missions.
Parish Missions have been a wonderful part of our Catholic heritage for centuries. Traditionally celebrated during the penitential seasons of Advent and Lent, the Parish Mission seeks to facilitate, through the preaching of God’s word, a personal encounter with The LORD, which awakens and deepens faith. In the words of the Apostle Paul, “So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes by the preaching of Christ” (Romans 10:17).
Parish Missions are opportunities for spiritual renewal and rededication, where the faithful are invited to deepen their relationship with the Lord and to recommit themselves to living out their Christian vocation with joy and holy boldness.
Over the past decade, Casting Nets has conducted well over one hundred parish missions and we remain thoroughly convinced of their great spiritual and pastoral benefits. They can be occasions of great grace for a parish community - bringing much needed healing and spiritual refreshment to the faithful, while at the same time challenging and empowering them to live out the demands of the Gospel.
Our experience over the years has taught us that a well-planned-and-executed mission can in fact become a much needed spark or catalyst for parish renewal and can awaken in the faithful the awareness that as disciples of Jesus Christ we are called “…not only keep the faith and live on it, but also profess it, confidently bear witness to it, and spread it” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1816).
We have seen first-hand the impact that these missions can have on communities, particularly when they are placed within the context of an overall plan and strategy for parish renewal.
In an effort to make our parish missions even more accessible to parishes throughout the United States, we established the Mission Forward Initiative. Launched in 2016, this initiative awards grants of upwards of $4,500 to highly motivated parishes that are eager to host a Casting Nets Parish Mission and begin building a culture of evangelization among their faithful.
What type of parishes are we looking for?
We are looking for parish communities that are ready to answer the challenge of the New Evangelization, to become authentic schools of prayer, holiness, and missionary discipleship. These parishes will have the following:
- Pastor who is highly engaged in and committed to creating a culture of missionary discipleship and evangelization in the parish.
- Congregation that is animated and hungry to grow in and spread the faith.
- Parish Staff that is eager to reflect more deeply upon its evangelical mission and assess its effectiveness.
- Pastor and staff committed to participating in all mission sessions, including a special staff in-service to be facilitated by Casting Nets.
- Parish that will actively promote the event through bulletin, website, Mass announcements, deanery/vicariate/diocesan channels, and personal invitation.
- Parish will be willing to do follow up surveys.
- Parish committed to using the CN Mission as a catalyst for ongoing renewal and pastoral planning for evangelization.
- The grant will provide a three-evening mission, on a Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday night, as well as a special in-service for the entire parish staff.
- Casting Nets will be happy to address the unique challenges and situations of individual parishes. However, the three main talks will primarily center upon the themes of “Discipleship”, “Stewardship,” and “Evangelization.”
- Casting Nets evangelists Tony Brandt, Chris Stewart, and/or Hector Molina will conduct the mission.
- A free-will offering will be taken up each night for the express purpose of furthering our Mission Forward Initiative and enable CNM provide missions to other parishes in need across the country.
- As with all of our events, the host parish will provide CNM with two 8ft. tables to display and sell our faith-building products and resources.
- Once selected, the parish is required to send in a $500 deposit in order to hold their spot. At the mission, the parish will receive their $500 deposit back in the form of Casting Nets product (20 books at $12.95 and 10 CD or DVD sets at $25).
- Both the parish contact and Casting Nets will determine the dates for the mission.
- The parish agrees to have no meetings or activities scheduled during the time of the mission so as to better ensure the greatest possible participation.
- The parish agrees to promote the mission according the CNM guidelines.
- A full grant award will cover the total honorarium for our team of evangelists and up to $1000 in travel expenses. Anything that exceeds that amount will be the parish’s responsibility.
Once submitted, your application will be carefully reviewed by our executive team.
A follow-up phone interview will be scheduled to discuss your application and to ask any further questions.
You will receive notice of acceptance within 6 weeks of submitting your application.
Once approved, the parish is required to sign and return the contract along with a $500 deposit (returned to parish in the form of Casting Nets resources during the mission).
Guidelines for the promotion and logistics of the mission will be sent along with the notice of awarded grant.