Free MP3s for the New Evangelization Nick Alexander

Free MP3s for the New Evangelization

Years ago, I had attended an apologetics conference at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. I was not Catholic at the time, but by the end of the conference, my life had changed. I had purchased the entire cassette library of all the talks; they were held for many years as a precious treasure for me.

Many of us would greatly benefit by going to a conference for apologetics. One weekend, many talks, and you receive tremendous insight; sometimes you will get tangible direction as to what Scriptures, encyclicals or biographies to read in your own private time. Sometimes a phrase sticks with you, an anecdote, that you can use at a future appropriate time.

And sometimes you get personal motivation to continue running the race. You hear people just like you, who have made mistakes, who have gone further in the faith, and have lessons to share from their experience.

Last weekend, there was a tremendous one-day conference about the New Evangelization, held at Christendom College. Some of the people who attended there are the big hitters in Catholic apologetics. Dr. Scott Hahn, Patrick Madrid, Marcus Grodi and Francis Cardinal Arinze were among the speakers. Catholic World Report tells the story here.

Read to the end, and they draw attention to the six talks and the Q&A, available on iTunes. And shortly after I discovered these that I devoured all these talks for myself.

Every talk was insightful in its own way. Every talk was the creation of its own presenter, who carries with it his own personality, suggestions, and life experience.

Talk 1: Apologetics and the New Evangelization by Dr. Timothy O’Donnell
A concise summary of the call to evangelize from Pope Francis (Evangelii Gaudium) and Benedict XVI, as well as a reminder that evangelization is not purely an intellectual exercise, but also one that is accompanied by emotional and moral counterparts.

Talk 2: Consuming the Word: Encountering Christ in the New Testament by Dr. Scott Hahn
Dr. Hahn dives into Pope Francis and Benedict’s encyclical Lumen Fidei, and builds from that the importance of having joy in one’s walk.

Talk 3: Conversion and Apologetics: Personal Vocation as a Key to the New Evangelization by Dr. R.J. Matava
He makes an argument that apologetics and evangelization are not the same thing, even though they are intrinsically linked. He was the first to introduce Blessed John Cardinal Henry Newman as a definitive resource for wading through the waters of modernist thinking. He ends with an appeal that we have a devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Talk 4: Helping Them Home by Marcus Grodi
This was the most practical talk of the conference. Marcus is host of The Journey Home, a TV show dedicated to telling the stories of how converts came into the faith. After eighteen years of interviews, he has synergized the stories into a series of steps that one usually goes through from the beginning seeds of conversion to crossing the Tiber. I sensed that he had more to share, but he ran out of time.

Talk 5: Historical Scholarship in the Thought of John Henry Newman by Dr. Brendan McGuire
This was the most scholarly talk of the conference, going further into detail as to the thought behind John Cardinal Henry Newman’s discovery about the ancient church, and how to counter some of the claims made by other scholars today who claim there were multiple Christianities that were suppressed by the Roman Empire in the fourth century.

Talk 6: Q&A Panel with Cardinal Francis Arinze and all other speakers
Some great questions here, especially in light of Pope Francis’ teaching on the Social Gospel.

Talk 7: Why Be Catholic? by Patrick Madrid
This is the most personal talk of the conference, and the most relatable. Patrick shares his own story, his own humble beginnings as a klutzy cradle Catholic who had to answer objections to the faith by his school friends. He insists you don’t have to be pushy, just that you can share why you believe Catholic truths, with no pressure on the listener to follow suit.

All in all, if you are interested in the New Evangelization, I encourage you to listen to this series and take copious notes. I found it to be quite exceptional.

Link: Encountering Christ: Apologetics and New Evangelization Talks

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