Story by S.L. Hansen
LINCOLN (SNR) - Ralph Martin, author, speaker and seminary professor, will speak at St. Michael Parish Monday, Feb. 3, at 7 p.m. All are welcome to attend his talks in exchange for a free-will offering.
Martin will speak on two different topics in the St. Michael commons area. The first is titled, “Called to Holiness: Is It Possible?” and the second is, “The New Evangelization: Me An Evangelist?”
“I chose these topics because I think our call to holiness and our call to evangelization are absolutely fundamental to being an alive Catholic today,” Martin said.
The title of his first talk is a reference to his book, “Called to Holiness.” He plans to tackle many of the challenges that modern people face in fostering holy attitudes and behaviors in the face of common obligations and distractions.
“I’ll be sharing practical decisions we can make so that our life is more centered on God,” he promised.
After a short break, Martin will resume the podium to talk about one of his favorite subjects, the New Evangelism.
Through many public speaking engagements, several books and a number of published essays, Martin has inspired many Catholics to respond to Pope John Paul II’s invitation to share in the work of evangelism.
In fact, Martin’s role in encouraging the New Evangelism has been so effective, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him as a consultor to the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization. Martin is also the director of graduate theology programs in evangelization and an associate professor of theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in the Archdiocese of Detroit.
Martin’s philosophy is that the most effective way to encourage people to take up the role of evangelization is to help them understand what is at stake.
“Once we realize that there really is a heaven and really is a hell and that the eternal destinies of people we love are hanging in the balance, it is not so difficult to embrace the call to be a witness to the truth and love of Christ,” he reasoned.
He has been to Lincoln a number of times before, always warmly welcomed by his audiences.
“I have always been impressed with how the wisdom of several bishops have preserved a high level of faith and practice in the diocese,” he said.
Martin has penned several books that Catholics can find useful, including “Called to Holiness,” “The Urgency of the New Evangelization: Answering the Call,” “The Fulfillment of All Desire: A Guidebook for the Journey to God Based on the Wisdom of the Saints,” and “Will Many Be Saved? What Vatican II Actually Teaches and Its Implications for the New Evangelization.” A number of his books will be available for sale before and after his talks at St. Michael Parish.
In addition to his roles as author, speaker and teacher, Martin is the president of Renewal Ministries, sponsor of “The Choices We Face” a popular weekly Catholic television and radio program distributed throughout the world. Archived recordings can be seen and heard at www.renewalministries.net.
Martin holds a doctorate in theology from the Angelicum University in Rome and lives in Ann Arbor, Mich., with his wife, Anne.
He extended his personal invitation to everyone in the Diocese of Lincoln.
“We need to put a priority on our relationship with the Lord,” he said. “Coming to these talks is one easy way of doing so.”