On Wednesday, Nov. 28, around two dozen people gathered to hear a deacon and father share simple ways to evangelize in the family in an engaging and interactive talk.
Deacon Drake McCalister, a convert to Catholicism, rearranged the room into a circle of chairs to better facilitate discussion and then led the group in a discovery of how to evangelize family members through love. He explained that family refers to the family one has now but also the family one may have in the future.
“I don’t expect to say anything revolutionary, new, or something you’ve never heard before tonight,” said McCalister. “In fact, I want to hopefully reassert some fundamentals that are absolutely foundational in any familial relationship.”
McCalister began by reading Deuteronomy 5:16, the call to honor one’s mother and father. “The very first step to doing anything in our family is working really hard to figure out how to live this verse out,” said McCalister.
He shared that his conversion initially caused a rift between him and his parents, but healing came primarily through him learning how to honor his parents. This honor should also extend to siblings, McCalister said.
Honoring family “will do far more than any clear objective words that you put together if you’re needing to draw people back to the faith,” said McCalister. “When they see how you are honoring family, that will go a long way in building credibility.”
This is especially important, explained McCalister, when a family member is difficult to love. “It’s when you love those that are difficult, that are hostile, that don’t deserve: that’s eternal reward,” he said.
Speaking directly to the men, McCalister explained that evangelization also comes into play in a man’s own family when he has a wife and children. McCalister called on the men to step up as spiritual leaders, saying, “The world is in desperate need of men who will be godly, men who will be spiritual leaders and boldly lead their families.”
McCalister shared statistics that showed that children whose fathers were strong in faith were more likely to stay Catholic. “What we need is men to step up and not be domineering authoritarians but be godly, servant-minded men, because when men lead spiritually … it gives your kids a spiritual deposit that will go for generations.”
Junior Joe Cherney enjoyed the talk, saying, “I thought that Deacon McCalister gave a welcome and excellent example on the practical applications of manhood and fatherhood, which are very much forgotten in favor of a strictly biblical and dating relationship, that it was important to understand and focus on the fact that men in the family are fathers and husbands first and models immediately second.”
This “Evangelization in the Family” talk was the third of a four-part series of evangelization talks hosted by the Fishers of Men household.