Friday, July 10, 2009


While teaching a class on evangelization in 2003, as the Director of Campus Ministry at St. Elizabeth’s University Parish at Texas Tech University, I would give “homework” to my students, which consisted of stretching themselves further each week as evangelists. I started them with simple assignments – ask a non-Catholic friend if they had any questions about the faith and then answer them as best as they can, invite someone to one Church activity this week, share your testimony with someone, etc. Toward the end of the semester, I asked my students if they would be willing to go onto campus with a sign or t-shirt that read “I am Catholic – ask me a question”. All agreed to try it, if I accompanied them. On the scheduled day we set up an easel with a poster-board on it which read “Ask A Catholic A Question” and took all comers.

The first day of Ask A Catholic A Question, we had dozens of people stop and ask questions. Once the initial nervousness wore off, it became easier for us to engage others in conversation. This program continued at St. Elizabeth’s until I left and came to St. Mary’s Catholic Center at Texas A&M.

Once I got my feet on the ground at St. Mary’s, I started to organize a small group of students to help start Ask A Catholic A Question at Texas A&M. I stressed evangelization over and above apologetics. By the name alone, one might incorrectly believe we are an apologetic organization which is formed to defend the faith, but this is not accurate. We are an evangelistic organization who use apologetics as one tool in bringing others to the truth about Christ and His Church. We have since learned that the signs were limiting (because of on-campus rules and logistics) in when and where we could meet. We no longer use signs, but now use t-shirts, which gives us much more flexibility and visibility.

Our goal for the Fall semester of 2009 is to have more than 15 groups of 3 student evangelists each, on campus. This would give us approximately 1,000 individual hours of evangelization on-campus.

The Ask A Catholic A Question program has already spread to at least 3 other communities / schools and we have requests for our handbook from others.