Dear St. Thomas Aquinas Parishioners,
Over my last year here at St. Thomas Aquinas, I’ve been truly blessed by this community and excited by the wonderful growth. Having formed many amazing relationships here and having experienced the warmth, sacrificial nature, friendliness, diversity, and depth of our parish, I desire so deeply to continue to foster new growth here at our church. We have many remarkable projects in the works at St. Thomas, from our Capital Campaign to our different events such as the Summer Concert Series and the Fall Festival, from our great traditions to our newer pursuits. We’ve seen so much growth from the effort of many awesome volunteers to put on these events which display the vibrancy of our parish. I believe it necessary to continue to expand this positive momentum into the larger community. For this reason and with Fr. Martin’s approval, I have decided to take on the role of Director of Evangelization here at St. Thomas in addition to my role as Director of Youth Ministry and Formation.
Over the past year, I have worked on events and programs oriented toward evangelization in addition to youth ministry, such as Incarnate Ministries videos, the Summer Concert Series, the Advent and Lent Night of Prayer, The Search Series, and the Upper Room Small Group (which meets every Monday at 7PM in Room 2109 – all are more than welcome to join us for that). The purpose of these events was to continue to foster a broader and deeper community here at St. Thomas, and I hope that, for those who were a part of these events or programs, these efforts were fruitful. It was an absolute joy getting to put them on and meet new faces at each one. As the greater Pilot Point area continues to grow, it is essential to have programs, events, and people that reach out to the larger community and invite them to St. Thomas. It is also necessary for us to maintain our own identity as a tight-knit community with programs and events. Both these goals are major targets of evangelization.
The formation I was blessed to receive in the seminary revealed to me the importance of evangelization, which is simply personally sharing the Gospel message with others in order to bring them closer to our Lord. This sharing can be done in countless ways, such as through large-scale programs or through small groups and individual testimonies. By far the most impactful form of evangelization is through personal connection, so much of my work as the Director of Evangelization will be oriented toward creating moments of personal encounter for our parishioners and the larger community. The Catholic Church implores its members to always keep catechesis and evangelization connected, as the two belong together and should flow from one another. Catechesis, instruction of the faith intellectually, does not make sense without the proper contextualization of evangelization, witnessing to the significance of the faith in one's own life. Pope St. Paul VI articulated this well when he said: “Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses.” I hope that my work as the Director of Evangelization can deepen and widen our community, can create places of encounter with our Lord for each of you, and can equip you to take on the call of evangelization in your own spheres of influence.
With all of this said, it is important to address what is ahead practically. As many of you know, I have formed an Evangelization Committee here at St. Thomas Aquinas to help facilitate the planning of different events and programs. We will continue to both put on events and be present at larger community events in the Fall. Please be looking out for these events in the coming bulletins! We are also looking at more long-term programs and have ideas in mind of how to continue to foster growth here at St. Thomas. If you feel called to be a part of the evangelization mission here at St. Thomas, please reach out to me at email@example.com and we can discuss the next steps. Also, if you ever have any questions or ideas about evangelization in our church, you can reach out to me as well. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to serve this church, and I sincerely thank each one of you for your continued support of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church. Please pray for me and our parish as we look toward an exciting future!
Jacob Hubbard Director of Youth Ministry and Formation Director of Evangelization