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Why Catholic? Meet Bishop Edward C. Malesic
Offices Parish Life Missionary Discipleship The First Step

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The First Step

"The Church which 'goes forth' is a community of missionary disciples who take the first step, who are involved and supportive, who bear fruit and rejoice." (The Joy of the Gospel, 24)

St. Paul reminds the faithful that “A little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough” (Galatians 5:9).  As Christians, we must be like leaven, carrying the love and joy of Christ to the world, especially where no one else will go.

The love and joy that nurtures us through the encounter of Christ ought to transform the world through our presence and work.  We, like yeast thrown into dough, must be conduits of the animation of the Holy Spirit, allowing God’s grace to transform the world in us and through us! 

A community of missionary disciples embrace the LEAVEN strategic priorities as followers of Christ. 

  • LEARN the narratives of those in the community and encourage others to share their stories. 
  • ENCOUNTER Christ with open hearts and by captivated by Christ's love. 
  • AWAKEN a child-like wonder and curiosity. Be a people of deeper conversion.
  • VIEW the community differently, as blessed and broken.  
  • EVANGELIZE with great joy and accompany with love. 
  • NOURISH those who hunger and are restless. 

Forming a Community of Missionary Disciples

Missionary disciples nurture a relationship with Jesus Christ and seek opportunities to share the joy that comes from that relationship, captivating hearts that yearn for more, and warmly drawing others into an encounter of Christ.  Forming a community of missionary disciples involves intentional focus, an openness to dream, and trust in the Holy Spirit as the instigator of discipleship.  Consider the resources below as you strategize how to draw others to Christ in love, stewardship, and with a focus outward.


Alpha is an experience of coming together with others in small groups, in a spirit of joy, to encounter and nurture a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Learn more about Alpha and its impact in the communities throughout the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland!


Parish Assessment

This assessment, adapted from the work of Marcel LeJeune and Catholic Missionary Disciples, offers questions under 10 themes for parishes to prayerfully discern and respond to in light of forming missionary disciples.   

Download Assessment Tool

Telling Your Story

Missionary Disciples must become masterful storytellers in proclaiming the gospel (in word and deed) to those who long for more.  The following resources can be used as tools to help develop a faith story and articulate that with joy and passion.  This material can be utilized in a group setting or individually. 

Download Manual

Faith Language Rubric 

The Kerygma: The Good News

Porters of the Faith

Porters of the Faith is a formative and adaptable resource from the Office of Missionary Discipleship that parish communities can utilize to discern their own needs and, working collectively, strategize pastoral responses to best serve the people of their community. Porters of the Faith can be used and adapted to re-focus a particular vision for a faith community.  Each of the sessions offers a narrative with questions throughout. These questions can fuel discernment, prayer and conversation.

Following the four sessions are brief strategy worksheets that promote a lens through which to develop a vision that enhances pastoral plans and formation. Specifically, these worksheets encourage individuals and groups to consider strengths and challenges that exist in a community, as well as identify both gaps that exist and areas to build and enhance in ministry and formation.

Download Manual

Porters of the Faith Retreat PPT

Porters of the Faith Retreat Booklet

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