Q&A with David Charboneau

This spring, David Charboneau will be leading a men’s retreat with us the weekend of May 25-27. Men of the Archdiocese who are 18 and older, we hope you’ll join us for this time of prayer, reflection, and fellowship.

Q: David, please tell us a little bit about yourself!

David: I am the Director of Evangelization at St. Nicholas Parish in Gig Harbor. I have varied responsibilities here, including working with new Catholics in our RCIA program, planning activities with our Young Families group, working with our school, and helping with liturgies. Outside of work, most of my time is focused on my family—young children keep me on my toes!

Q: As Director of Evangelization for your parish, what is your favorite part of your job?

Working with catechumens is the best part of my job. The wonder and excitement they have for the faith inspires me and challenges me to grow in my own faith. They always have good questions to ask and are open to the answers.

Q: How do you feel you best evangelize to people out in the world, who might not be Catholic? Do you have any advice for those who might not know how to share their faith with others?

The best way to evangelize is to live the life of a disciple. First, we must seek holiness ourselves. Living a life of sacramental prayer is key. Secondly, St. Peter tells us to “always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope.” (1 Peter 3:15) Note that he assumes you are living such a life of hope, that people will ask you about it! As Pope Francis reminds us, we must be filled with the Joy of the Gospel. Christians who are negative or condemning will not get far sharing the faith.

Finally, as St. Peter said, “Be ready.” Have a brief response prepared to give when someone asks you why you are a Christian. I recommend that people memorize a short one- or two-minute response in case they get caught off guard with the question. “Being ready” doesn’t mean you know everything. Seeking and asking questions is part of a healthy faith, so it is OK to say, “I don’t know—let’s find out together.”

Q: Your retreat with us is entitled “Anointed: Priest, Prophet, King.” If the men who attend your retreat could live out one concept when they leave, what would it be?

The key concept is that God has called us into mission. We are not passive receivers of grace, but participating members of the Body of Christ. We are called to be a gift to others. And the great mystery is this: it is when we make our lives a gift that we find our true selves (see Gaudium et Spes, #24). We all have our role to play in this great adventure, and God gives us the graces we need to live it out.

Q: Do you have any favorite prayers or saints? What inspires you?

This question is hard to answer, as there are so many great saints to talk about. One that comes to mind is St. Francis Xavier. An early companion of St. Ignatius of Loyola, he was passionate about the Gospel. He traveled literally to the ends of the Earth to share the Good News of Christ. He often found himself in a hostile culture and regularly faced difficult opposition. Another saint who is influential is St. John Paul II. His many writings were formative to me in my early years. I reflect often on his call to the New Evangelization. Finally, I often find myself thinking of St. Josephine Bakhita, whose simple, joy-filled holiness has become an inspiration to so many.

 

If you have not already done so, we encourage you to register for the men’s retreat today!