Parishes Invited to Be My Witness Parish Leadership Workshops from Nov. 7-9


New Process for Transforming Parish Life and Forming Disciples Offered

This fall, parishes in the Diocese of Joliet have the opportunity to embark on a new process for parish evangelization entitled Be My Witness: Formation for the New Evangelization.  Parish Leadership workshops will be presented by RENEW International throughout the diocese between Nov. 7-9.  See dates and venues below.

Be My Witness was inspired by Pope Francis and his writings in The Joy of the Gospel, in which he invites all parishes to become “centers of constant missionary outreach” that are filled with missionary disciples.

The program’s features have been specifically designed to help parish leaders look at all parish activities through the “lens of evangelization” through two phases.

Phase 1 gathers the priests, parish staff, and lay leaders to discuss and address five key areas of parish life: enhancing Sunday worship, creating a welcoming environment, fostering a sense of belonging, witnessing to faith in word and deed, and reaching out in a spirit of mission.

In this first phase, parish leaders gain input from members of the parish community to evaluate each of the five areas from a variety of perspectives using the RENEW Parish Assessment tool.

Next, the team meets to explores the topics and assessment feedback with the help of pastoral planning tools and a series of learning videos. The result is a parish-developed plan to become a vibrant, mission-directed faith community.  RENEW International pastoral representatives will train and coach the parishes throughout the process as they develop their pastoral plans.

The process kicks off next month with Parish Leadership Workshops that will gather pastors and parish leadership teams. By attending, participants will gain in-depth knowledge of the entire process—including the video learning modules, guidebook, timelines, parish assessment tool—and an understanding of how to become an evangelizing parish. Members of the parish leadership teams will work together to create a timeline for the rollout in their parishes using their Phase 1 Guidebooks. Each workshop location will offer sessions in English and Spanish

Parishes in the Diocese of Joliet can sign up to attend their choice of workshops by emailing parish attendee numbers to To learn more about Be My Witness please contact David Spesia, director of the Newman Institute for Lay Formation, at 815.221.6140 or

Here are the dates and venues:

Date Venue/Address Time Language

November 7

St. Paul Church

511 N. Conrad St.

Peotone, IL

(708) 258-9580


7-9 p.m.


English &



November 8

Blanchette Catholic Center

16555 Weber Rd.

Crest Hill, IL

(815) 221-6100


7-9 p.m.


English & Spanish

November 9

St. Daniel Church

101 West Loop Rd.

Wheaton, IL

(630) 682-5003


7-9 p.m.


English & Spanish

Phase 2 of Be My Witness will take place starting in Lent 2018. This important next phase gathers adults of all ages and walks of life into small groups to explore their call as Catholics to reach out to others in their daily life. RENEW will help establish parish small groups, a proven method of fostering discipleship, and provide participants with powerful video resources and printed materials to discuss together.

Additional information about Be My Witness can be found online at

About RENEW International

RENEW International is a canonically-recognized Catholic organization operating under the auspices of the Archdiocese of Newark. For almost four decades, RENEW International has fostered evangelization and spiritual renewal in the Catholic tradition in more than 160 dioceses in the United States and in 24 other countries. It can be found on the web at or at