Jonathan Lewis, the Archdiocese of Washington’s 	coordinator of Evangelization and Young Adult Initiatives, speaks at a recent Theology on Tap gathering at the Catholic Information Center.
Jonathan Lewis, the Archdiocese of Washington’s coordinator of Evangelization and Young Adult Initiatives, speaks at a recent Theology on Tap gathering at the Catholic Information Center.
The Archdiocese of Washington's Office of Young Adult Ministry and the D.C.-based Catholic Apostolate Center have created a program to help young adults become more active in their parishes and in evangelization efforts.

"We want to help young adults discern their gifts and their talents within the context of their parish community and the larger community - their neighborhood, their workplace, and to discern," said Jonathan Lewis, the archdiocesan coordinator of Evangelization and Young Adult Initiatives. "We want to revive the apostolic work that each of us is called to do."

Called "From Practicing Catholics to Apostles on Mission," the initiative is designed to prepare young adults to become active participants in the Church's New Evangelization efforts.

"We have many talented young adults who have difficulty getting involved in a parish home where they can use their talents and gifts," Lewis said. "We want to help young adults to connect to their parishes so that the parishes become an accelerator of evangelization in the world."

The program offers a fall 10-session on-line course beginning Sept. 8 that will form young adults theologically and prepare them for the work of evangelization. A spring course will pair young adults with experienced religious or lay mentors for supervision and support as they engage in their evangelization efforts.

"This will give young adult Catholics the tools and experience needed to be evangelizers to their families, parishes, and communities," Lewis said.

"From Practicing Catholics to Apostles on Mission" will also help young adults feel part of their parish, he said.

"The young adult population is very transient and mobile, and being rooted in a parish is important because it gives a sense of community, and it is from a place of belonging we are sent out into the world," Lewis said.

Lewis added that the Church can utilize the gifts of young Catholics.

"Young adult Catholics are practicing Catholics who care about their faith, and they make decisions based on their faith," he said. "This program will help them transition into active participation in parish life."

Lewis said that the leadership formation program will also help young adults in outreach beyond their parish.

"We sometimes think the only way we can serve God is by serving on Sundays at church as an altar server or lector," he said. "This (program) will show how we can use our faith in the world."

The fall sessions will not only be offered on line, but also offered as an optional on-site course, according to the website of the Catholic Apostolate Center. The center is run by the Immaculate Conception Province of the Society of the Catholic Apostolate (Pallottines). The three-year-old center was founded to work with dioceses and other Catholic organizations assist in the faith formation of Catholics.

The "From Practicing Catholics to Apostles on Mission" fall program is broken into three sections: the mission of the contemporary Catholic, the mission of the Church, and the way of living as apostles of Christ.

The fall program consists of ten hour-long sessions that will be held on Monday evenings from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m., beginning Sept. 8 through Nov. 17, with a week break on Columbus day, Oct. 13. The online and onsite sessions will be held at the same time to encourage discussion between participants.

For more information about "From Practicing Catholics to Apostles on Mission", visit www.apostlesonmission.org.