A Vocation Comes Full Circle
In high school, Fr. Adam Streitenberger heard a call from our Lord. He was discouraged by those his age he saw leaving the Church. It moved him to ask the question, “WHY?” This question ultimately led to a vocation to the priesthood, taking him from priest to pastor to student and now to a special role for evangelization in the Diocese of Columbus, the Coordinator for Evangelization, a new position commissioned by Bishop Robert Brennan.
Six Strong Starting Points
As a part of his role, Fr. Adam is committed to six priority areas of evangelization that are rooted in creating missionary disciples:
- The renewal of parishes as places of formation for missionary disciples
- The formation of staff and faculty of Catholics schools as missionary disciples
- The missionary presence of all the higher educational centers in the Diocese
- The use of social and digital media for evangelization
- The promotion and incorporation of lay missionaries and apostolates in parishes and schools
- The development of a “soft-entry” location to enable the evangelization and formation of seculars and “nones” who would not otherwise go to parishes.
When asked where these priorities came from it was from the Bishop, who – from his first days in office – made evangelization the priority. The people of the Diocese were also invited to pray and share ideas and perspectives. One thing was clear: “We recognized that at the heart of evangelization is the formation of all baptized to be missionary disciples. Parishes are where this takes place and we had to start there.”
The Diocese of Columbus has a bold and inspiring vision interwoven within these six priorities… and they needed a partner to help them make it a reality.
Catholic Leadership Institute is proud to be that partner. Right now, alongside Fr. Adam, Bishop Brennan, and a crew of faithful evangelists, they are creating three- to five-year plans with actionable items and metrics around each of these six priorities. Together, we are also navigating how to speed up and prioritize goals based on what an evolving Church (and world) is calling for right now. Fr. Adam and the Diocese have accelerated social media work to reach more people, focused on technology, and made necessary hires to respond to the call of the Holy Spirit to think about things differently and to look even further into their priorities.
CLI asked the question: “Fr. Adam, how would this endeavor be different if you did it on your own and without Catholic Leadership Institute?”
Fr. Adam’s response: “It wouldn’t be possible.”
An Evangelization Revolution
Today the Diocese and priority teams are getting into the granular details while staying focused on the goal of bringing more people to know Jesus. Catholic Leadership Institute is walking alongside them as they balance evangelization, priorities, creating a workable plan, and overall integration. They noted that they wanted to work with CLI, because they needed much more than a planning expert – they needed faithful people who know how to plan, but more importantly know our Church, love our Church, and want to make an impact for our Church.
And what is that impact? Fr. Adam sums it up by saying, “We are hoping for a revolution and a culture change… this is only the beginning.” Fr. Adam is confident that this is just the first phase of the journey. In three to five years, he knows they will have the foundations of a culture of missionary discipleship; they will have good leaders in their parishes; parishes will be dynamic centers of missionary discipleship; more people will be using their God-given gifts to serve Him and spread the Good News to others.
Punk Rock & a Story Just Getting Started
Fr. Adam’s vocation, which was inspired in high school by his heart for secular people and a provocation for him to introduce them to the Lord, has certainly come full circle.
When asked what his high school self would think of this endeavor and his work, Fr. Adam responded with a laugh…
“My high school self would not be surprised at all. Back then I loved the Lord, and I loved punk rock music. I have always had a sense of revolution about me. My high school self would also know… the story is not done yet.”
Friends, let’s pray for the wonderful leaders like Fr. Adam, Bishop Brennan, the Diocese of Columbus, and all those Catholics who are doing the impossible, creating the revolution, and bringing others to experience the beautiful, loving heart of Jesus