January 10, 2020

New director of evangelization and discipleship eager to help others share their faith

By Mike Krokos

Sean Hussey admits he was a nominal Catholic.

That all changed when he started dating his future wife, who was Protestant.

“I fell in love with apologetics and sharing my faith with people in college. It was sparked really from my wife Paige when I met her,” he explained.

“She showed Christ to me in a way that was unique, inspiring and intriguing,” Hussey said. “That just drew me to the Lord and to a relationship with him. … Because she wasn’t Catholic, that was my first experience in evangelization. It was just trying to share my faith with her, and why I was Catholic.”

Through that experience, Hussey said, he developed an appreciation for apologetics and the Church’s mission of evangelization. Paige was received into the full communion of the Church at the Easter Vigil in 2017, and the couple were married in December of that year. Members of Most Holy Name of Jesus Parish in Beech Grove, they are expecting their first child in February.

Hussey’s continued passion for the richness of the Church and its teachings led him to recently being named to the newly-created position of archdiocesan coordinator of evangelization and discipleship. Before that, Hussey served as coordinator of high school and young adult ministry at St. Jude Parish in Indianapolis for nearly two years.

Ken Ogorek, archdiocesan director of catechesis, said Hussey was selected for the position because he “has a great combination of knowledge and experience, plus a heart for the work and ministry of evangelization and discipleship.”

Although evangelization is everyone’s job, “it can get lost in the shuffle without an individual or group to encourage us—including practical advice and resources,” Ogorek noted. “This coordinator role will help provide that focus for parishes throughout the archdiocese.”

The goals for the position, Ogorek continued, include:

  • Communicating regularly with at least one evangelization contact person in each parish, under the pastor’s or parish life coordinator’s (PLC’s) guidance.
  • Sending a brief, monthly e-newsletter to parish evangelization contacts, featuring resources and training opportunities.
  • Helping parishes use a soon-to-be-published guidebook for forming a Disciple Leadership Team that will help reach out to the unchurched as well as alienated Catholics within the parish territory, plus seeking to reinvigorate the faith of practicing Catholics by proposing the basic Gospel message in ever-new ways.

As the graduate of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Ill., reflects on his faith journey, Hussey looks back to his college days where he was able to discuss Catholicism with Paige and college friends, including some who were not Catholic and even some non-believers.

“I had a lot of good opportunities through college, through campus ministry, to do that with my peers,” said Hussey, 24, “through one-on-one discipleship and small group evangelization.”

That mission continued in his position at St. Jude Parish and now in a larger role with the Church in central and southern Indiana.

“I want to be able to share my faith and help others to encounter the person of Jesus Christ, and to equip them to be able to share their faith with others,” said Hussey, who has certification in youth ministry from Franciscan University of Steubenville in Steubenville, Ohio, and certification in philosophy from the New Saint Thomas Institute.

In his mission, the coordinator of evangelization and discipleship also plans to reach out to the lost, including those who “may be Catholic, but have not met the Lord in a serious way, and then everybody else in between.

“I’ve had this strong desire all through my last two years of ministry and through college ministry, of relational ministry, of leading people into community,” Hussey said, “so that they can discover the Lord through the witness of other folks.”

People who are interested in evangelization, Ogorek said, are encouraged to ask their pastor or PLC who their point of contact is with the archdiocesan Office of Evangelization. “Offer to help that person or, if no one has yet been identified for that role—offer to be that person,” and contact Hussey.

The hope, Ogorek continued, is for every parish to have a Disciple Leadership Team. “Sean is here to help pastors and parish life coordinators establish those teams as well as seeing to it that they have access to resources, training and support.”

Prayer, Ogorek added, is the foundation for all evangelizing efforts. “Please pray that each soul in every parish territory is touched by the Gospel and drawn into a disciple relationship with Jesus, lived in full communion with his body, the Church!”

(For more information on the archdiocesan Office of Evangelization and its discipleship resources, e-mail Sean Hussey at shussey@archindy.org or call 317-236-1542.)

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