Sorry, “The Joy of the Gospel” series has been cancelled.

Return to “The Joy of the Gospel”

Energize your faith and invite others to do the same.
A special “Date Night” discussion.

Thursday from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
Begins August 12
Come to any or all sessions

After Jesus sent the disciples on their missionary journey, the gospel says “They returned with joy.” (Lk 10:17) What was the source of this joy? Can it be your joy too? Is it a joy you can share with others? Come to this special “Date Night” series, and explore the answer to these questions.

There will be two resources that will dovetail nicely with this discussion. Excerpts will be taken from each as conversation starters:

Resource 1: The Joy of the Gospel

The first resource is the landmark exhortation of Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel (Evangelii Gaudium). How does this “New Evangelization” operate in a post-pandemic world? Only by rediscovering the joy of the gospel in our own life will we have a compelling message to share with others, some of whom might have become disillusioned with the Church.

Some questions the exhortation will explore:

  • What is the source of true joy?
  • How can I immesrse myself in this joy?
  • What are the barriers keeping me and others from experiencing this joy?
  • What are some ways I can share this joy?
Resource 2: Return: How to Draw Your Child Back to Church

The second is an excellent book written by Brandon Vogt, the content director of Bishop Baron’s Word on Fire called Return. It offers a practical guide on how to draw your child back to church. Many of the techniques could be used in any number of situations with other people who may have drifted from the faith, or even yourself if you’re struggling to reconnect.

The statistics cited in Return are shocking: just 7% of young people raised in the Catholic Church still actively practice their faith. Three questions arise:

  • Why are they leaving?
  • Where are they going?
  • How can I help them reconnect?

Date Discussion Approach

Using the message contained in the exhortation The Joy and the Gospel, and the practical tips presented in Return, we’ll try to find answers to these questions, and try to keep others (and maybe even yourself) from becoming the next statistic.

The discussion will be led by Deacon Scott Gilfillan, meant to be engaging and enlightening as if one were on a dinner date and having a fascinating discussion.

Date Night Schedule

4:50 PM Holy Hour of Adoration (optional)
4:50 PM Benediction (optional)
6:00 PM Dinner
6:30 PM Date Program
7:30 PM Final Blessing

Any questions, contact Deacon Scott Gilfillan at,or call 828.328.7441.

Prerequisites to join the discussion

There is no need to read ahead, the discussions will be self-contained. For those who are interested in enhancing their ‘date’ experience encyclical can be downloaded for free from various online sources. The book Return can be purchased on Amazon.

PRICING: No charge

The Center would like to get as many people as possible to enter into a deeper experience of joy as well as find some tips to be able to share that joy with others. Donations will be kindly accepted to defer the cost of the meals but not necessary.

Please register Tuesday for the Thursday ‘date’. Register now, space is limited to 25 participants.

About the Presenter

The sessions and discussions will be led by Deacon Scott D. Gilfillan. Deacon Scott was ordained as a Catholic deacon in 2001. He has a wide range of experience of facilitating groups and leading retreats for parishes, RCIA programs, and deacon candidates. For many years, he was the director of deacon formation for the diocese of Charlotte, assisting and guiding deacon candidates and their wives in discernment and formation. Most recently he has become the director of the Catholic conference and retreat center in Hickory.