Sharing Your Catholic Faith Story: “Your Light Must Shine”

On this Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, the Gospel is the familiar sermon from Jesus: “You are the salt of the earth … you are the light of the world.” As I read today’s Mass readings, I couldn’t help but think that Nancy Ward’s Sharing Your Catholic Faith Story is the perfect next step.

Sharing your catholic faith story

This Gospel reading is all about how we evangelize. Sometimes people interpret the reading as a caution not to hide your gifts and talents, but I think there’s another way to read it, as well. It’s a call to use our gifts and talents, given by God, to witness to His love and His work in our lives.

I’m an introvert, happiest when working behind the scenes. The idea of putting myself out there and talking about my faith is daunting. But Nancy Ward knows what she’s talking about here. She’s put together an easy-to-use book of “tools, tips and testimonies” to help readers, no matter what their level of comfort with talking about God in public, figure out how they can best let their light shine.

The first part of the book helps you define your faith story, sorting out what’s significant, and learning to use a spiritual journal to organize your thoughts. Chapter 9 was comforting to this introvert: titled “Gentleness and Reverence: Tips for Sharing Your Faith Story,” it drove home the point that a soft approach (definitely my style) is both possible and beneficial.

St. Francis of Assisi is frequently (mis)attributed with saying, “Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words.” Whether or not the saint actually said, this, it’s good advice. If you’re a person of faith, it’s not only your words that reflect what you believe. It’s your actions and attitudes.

About three-quarters of this book is packed with testimonies of Catholics: writers, speakers, and others who have found ways to let their own light shine and guide people to Christ.

Nancy Ward’s favorite Scripture quote about evangelizing is all over this book:

Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope. (1 Peter 3:15)

Do you want to be ready? Reading Sharing Your Catholic Faith Story will provide concrete tips and plenty of inspiration.

Copyright 2020 Barb Szyszkiewicz

This post contains Amazon affiliate links. I was given a free review copy of this book, but no other compensation. Opinions expressed here are mine alone.

Sharing YOUR Faith Story

How do you witness to your faith?

In his homily last weekend, our deacon observed that people always advise against discussing religion and politics–but no one actually shies away from talking politics. He asked, “why, then, don’t we feel comfortable talking about our faith?”

Maybe we just don’t know how.

The first time I was called upon to share my faith story, I had just returned from a Christ Renews His Parish (ChRHP) retreat. Newly married and new to the area, I was already feeling shy, and I was dismayed to discover that after you’ve attended a ChRHP weekend, you’re expected to be a presenter at the next one. I sat there at the follow-up meeting, listening to other women share dramatic stories of conversion and renewal of faith. I didn’t feel like I had anything to add or contribute; certainly, I had nothing that could compare to those witnesses. Finally I fled the meeting, weeping, and in a full-blown panic attack. I never returned. I felt like a fraud.

We need the right tools to help us evangelize.

SYFS coverNancy Ward has created a DVD seminar on evangelization that’s designed to help those of us who feel we don’t know how to share our faith. Sharing YOUR Faith Story is a 3-part study on telling our story effectively. It includes

  • Sharing Your Conversion Story
  • Sharing Your Renewal Story (or healing, miracle or answered prayer)
  • 10 Tips for Sharing Your Faith Story (in person, in writing, and on the Internet)

Nancy’s gentle presentation motivates viewers to persevere in prayer and to listen to the encouragement of the Holy Spirit to discover and share their faith.

My favorite section of Nancy’s DVD is Part 3: 10 Tips for Sharing Your Faith Story. (I’m all about tips!) She grounds these tips in Scripture:

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. (1 Peter 3:15)

I’m looking forward to sharing this DVD with the members of our Secular Franciscan fraternity. Each month, we make time for ongoing formation. The lessons in this DVD will help members of our group share our faith more effectively–both within the group and outside it.

NancyGravatar2Nancy Ward is a fellow member of the Catholic Writers Guild and contributor at She shares her faith at

Would you like a sneak peek of the video?

Here’s a short (4-minute) excerpt:

Nancy is hosting a contest to win a Sharing YOUR Faith Story DVD plus a $25 Amazon gift card. Here’s how you can enter! There are 10 ways to get your name into the weekly drawing for the SYFS DVD and the grand prize of a $25.00 gift card.

  1. Comment on featured blog of the day (See the schedule below)
  2. Comment on Sharing YOUR Faith Story now available on DVD! or
  3. Follow featured blog of the day (See schedule below)
  4. Follow Nancy on Twitter:
  5. Tweet and Retweet #SharingYOURFaithStory tweets from 10/12 through 10-24 from any source.
  6. Comment on featured blogger’s Twitter or Facebook post about SYFS
  7. Comment on Nancy HC Ward new author FB page
  8. Comment on YouTube Encouragement Excerpt
  9. Review (1-2 paragraphs) on YouTube Encouragement Excerpt
  10. Review (1-2 paragraph) on Facebook: Nancy HC Ward

Comments need to include ideas for using Sharing YOUR Faith Story, such as:

  • Sharing YOUR Faith Story seminar is ideal for Catholic groups such as . . ..
  • I will use Sharing YOUR Faith Story DVD to …..
  • Sharing YOUR Faith Story is effective for evangelization because…
  • What I like about Sharing YOUR Faith Story DVD  is ….

Reviews would be 1-2 paragraphs encouraging ministry leaders to bring Nancy Ward to a Catholic group to present the seminar live.

At the end of this week the name of each supporter will be put in the drawing, once for each incidence listed in 1-8 and twice for 9, 10 – reviews.  A DVD will be awarded to the person whose name is drawn. Drawings are held on October 25th and announced on Nancy HC Ward and All entries from both week one and week two are put in the drawing for the $25.00 gift card, awarded Oct 25th.

Featured Blogs to visit this week:
Monday Oct 19 – Lisa Hendey –
Tuesday Oct 20 – Jean Heimann – CatholicFire
Wednesday Oct 21 –Barbara Szyszkiewicz – FranciscanMom
Thursday Oct 22 – Melanie Jean Juneau –,  Joy of Nine, Association of Catholic Women Bloggers
Friday Oct 23 – Margaret Rose Realy – Morning Rose Prayer Gardens
Saturday Oct 24 – Sarah Reinhard – Snoring Scholar
Monday Oct 26 – Contest prize winners for second DVD and $25.00 gift card announced on and Facebook Nancy HC Ward.