Cande de Leon is the executive director of the Office of Mission Advancement.

I am often asked the question, “How do we build engagement in our parish?” I think the answer is threefold: personal invitation, conversion and answering the call to be an intentional disciple of Jesus! Pastors tell me that the “Together Let Us Go Forth ~ Juntos Sigamos Adelante” campaign in many cases has been the catalyst for all three of these in transforming their parishes.

I’ve heard the same from parishioners who I’ve had the privilege to meet. Before the campaign, they would have described themselves as “almost-every-Sunday Catholics,” coming to Mass fairly regularly, but that was about it. After hearing the campaign’s invitation, they courageously stepped out in faith. By encountering the Lord and by placing their trust in Him, they are learning how to follow Him in their everyday lives.


Discipleship naturally leads to a desire to serve the Lord. Pastors tell me that, because of the work of the campaign, they have seen more parishioners wanting to get involved in the life of the Church.

This confirms what this campaign is all about — sharing the Gospel with everyone in our diocese and inviting them to be disciples of Jesus Christ. God is accomplishing great things through this work and strengthening the Church in our very midst. I ask for your continued prayers for all those involved in the campaign, that the Holy Spirit continue this work of conversion in all of our hearts.