Evangelization is the unifying purpose for parish life.  It is the central priority and energizing core that insures faithfulness to the Gospel and guarantees vitality for the community.  The Office for Evangelization and Parish Life provides workshops, retreats, consultation, process facilitation and formation for evangelizing parishes at no cost. 


(Presentations can be customized or combined) 

Skills for Parish Evangelization (a three session mini-course)

  • Revitalizing the Spiritual Life of the Parish
  • Inviting, Welcoming and Reaching Out
  • Transforming the World with the Gospel

Becoming an Evangelizing Parish

  • Why Catholics evangelize
  • Proven outreach strategies
  • Sharing Good News with the next generation
  • Welcoming at points of contact

Eucharist and Evangelization

  • “Ite Missa Est” - It all starts with Mass
  • The Process of personal conversion
  • Growing in faith by giving it away


Retreats are designed for parishes who want to re-invigorate the enthusiasm of the congregation, help parishioners to connect faith in their daily life and live out their evangelizing purpose as a parish.  Retreats can be offered in a number of ways including: three consecutive evenings of the same week, on the same weekday over three consecutive weeks, or on a Saturday culminating with the evening liturgy.  Each session can include time for prayer, presentation, discussion and an optional witness speaker from parish. 

Lent: The Road Less Traveled

Unless we arrive spiritually prepared, the bells of Easter joy can ring hollow.  An overview of the three sessions of this retreat address how to be renewed by the traditional spiritual disciplines associated with Lent so that Easter is filled with joy. 

Session 1 - "The Prayers that God Hears"  Prayer is for all of us.  This session addresses what, why, when, where and how of prayers that God hears.

Session 2 – “The Acceptable Fast”  Fasting has become a necessary evil for those who lack a purpose.  Learn about a fast, so pleasing, that it is worth continuing even after Easter.

Session 3 – “The Secret of a Cheerful Giver”  No matter how wealthy we are, each of us has what it takes to be a cheerful giver.  We only fail when forget what it means to be alms-giving.

or a parish retreat on:

Challenge of Christian Living (for those seeking to live out faith in daily life)

  • Living Faith at Work
  • Living Faith in Family
  • Living Faith Out in the World

Journey with Christ (for those deepening one's relationship with Christ)

  • Who do you say I am?
  • The Call to Discipleship
  • Sharing Our Faith with Courage

Re-founding Church (for parish clusters)

  • Re-founding our Faith in Christ
  • Reconciling as One Body in Christ
  • Pursuing the Unifying Purpose of a Catholic Parish

or an evening of reflection on:

  • Fostering Faithful Families
  • Aging with Grace
  • Nurturing Faithful Marriages
  • Small Faith Communities
  • Using the Bible
  • Building an Evangelizing Parish
  • Advent

For more retreat possibilities contact the Office for Evangelization and Parish Life.  Call 716-847-5531 or dmahaney@buffalodiocese.org or visit us at 795 Main Street Buffalo, NY 14203.  Fax: 716-847-2206. There is no cost for any of the above services.  Ask about customizing a program just for your parish.


More Parish Retreats

Fr. George Knabomi, OMI is available to conduct retreats for parishes.  Do you wish to offer your parishioners the best Holy Week they've ever had?  If so please consider Cross of Glory, a Parish Mission which spends the first four days of Holy Week to prepare for a full celebration of the Great Three Days--the Sacred Paschal Triduum.  For pricing or more information contact Rev. George Knab, OMI, Oblate Preaching Ministries, at knabomi@aol.com or call 312-451-1609.

Fr. Richard M. Sudlik, OMI is available to conduct retreats for parishes or groups.  He is currently developing a retreat based on Pope John Paul II’s version of the Stations of the Cross.  Retreat presentations can be formatted in one session or across multiple evenings. Fr. Sudlik is a native of Buffalo who was ordained for the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate in 1972.  He holds degrees in philosophy, theology and pastoral counseling.  Fr. Sudlik has done parish ministry in West Virginia, South Carolina and Florida.  His last parish assignment was in the inner city of Miami.  Currently he directs the formation house at Holy Angels Church in Buffalo.  He has preached in parishes and retreat centers throughout the United States and has conducted retreats for priests and religious both here and abroad.

Stewardship - For the Body of Christ to be effective in the world today, the people of God must offer their time, talent and treasure for the building up of the kingdom of God. In reflecting on Stewardship, the Church will be challenged to offer what we are, what we have and what we do-all for the glory of God.

Paint Me A Picture, Lord - In the parables Jesus does just that-He paints us word pictures. These word pictures can fire our imagination and, therefore, can touch our hearts as well as our heads. During this retreat, we will let these parable, these word pictures, touch us once again.

Lord Teach Us to Pray - The Our Father is not just a prayer we say. It is an invitation to enter into a deeper relationship with our God and with one another. Most of us learned the “Our Father” at our parents’ knee. It has been part of our faith life from our earliest memories. But have we ever stopped to reflect on how this great prayer asks us to relate to our God and our brothers and sisters? As we begin our Lenten journey, this parish mission will be an invitation to see in this prayer what we may have never seen before.

Blessed Are Who??? - Central to the teaching of Jesus is the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus is the New Moses who seeks to have us look at the world and our lives in a new way. He asks us to turn things upside down and look at things from his point of view. The focus of our retreat will be - Are we willing to be Blessed as Jesus describes “Blessed”?

Fr. Sudlik is available to preach at weekend Masses.  The fee is typically $250 per day.  He is available to preach at Masses on the weekend prior to the retreat and is flexible in planning with the pastor the format for the retreat including a variety of liturgical services - Mass, Scripture service, Evening prayer of the Church, Benediction.


Print and Video Programs

Living Christ Retreat - a self-conducted, parish retreat with planning tools, set-up instructions, prayer services, handouts and talks on: The Journey of Faith, Dying in Christ, Healing in the Community, Living Christ (by Bill Huebsch, 2007 and available from www.pastoralplanning.com).  A review copy is available at the Office of Parish Life.  Call 716-847-5531 or email

Living the Eucharist Small Group Program - a comprehensive, parish-based renewal experience built around the parish Eucharist which employs small groups, a parish retreat, family events and educational materials for distribution.  This program fosters appreciation for the Eucharist, highlights the Eucharist as a means of ongoing conversion, raises awareness of the life and mission that flows from and leads to the Eucharist.  (by Rev. Kenneth Boyack, CSP 2011). A review copy is available from the Office for Evangelization and Parish Life.  Call 716-847-5531 or email

3 Days in Advent - Drawing closer to Christ during this busy season - a set of personal exercises for pastoral leaders that flows through three successive days.  This brief commitment to a deeper personal intimacy in faith can fuel one's faith in preparation for a joyful and and holy Christmas (by Bill Huebsch, 2007 and available from PastoralPlanning.com).  A review copy is available from the Office of Parish Life.  Call 716-847-5531 or email

Vatican II Resources - This set of resources offers workshop outlines, powerpoints, prayers and all leadership materials for appreciation of the Second Vatican Council. These materials are available for review by contacting the Office of Parish Life. The various items are available to parishes in the Diocese of Buffalo at a 40% discount if purchased directly from Pastoral Planning and you mention your desire for the bundle discount established for the Diocese of Buffalo.

For more evangelization programs and strategies contact:

Office for Evangelization and Parish Life

<st1:address w:st="on"><st1:street w:st="on">795 Main Street <st1:city w:st="on">Buffalo, <st1:state w:st="on">NY <st1:postalcode w:st="on">14203

Phone: 716-847-5531

Fax: 716-847-2206