Catholic Evangelization An Introduction
Evangelii Nuntiandi 1975 “Evangelizing means bringing the Good News into all the strata of humanity, and through its influence transforming humanity from within and making it new. ... But there is no new humanity if there are not first of all new persons renewed by Baptism and by lives lived according to the Gospel. The purpose of evangelization is therefore precisely this interior change ….
Evangelii Nuntiandi 1975 “[T]he Church evangelizes when she seeks to convert, solely through the divine power of the message she proclaims, both the personal and collective consciences of people, the activities in which they engage, and the lives and concrete milieu which are theirs.” EN 18.
Evangelii Nuntiandi 1975 “Evangelization is in fact the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity. She exists in order to evangelize, that is to say, in order to preach and teach, to be the channel of the gift of grace, to reconcile sinners with God, and to perpetuate Christ’s sacrifice in the Mass, which is the memorial of His death and glorious resurrection.” EN 14.
How to Evangelize …Evangelii Nuntiandi 1975 • Sharing stories of faith • Preaching • Catechesis • Sacraments • Mass media • Person to person • Personal devotion • Small communities
Go and Make Disciples 1992 “You have received the Spirit of Christ Jesus, which brings salvation and hope; your lives are a witness of faith. “Whether you were baptized as a child or joined the Church as an adult, you have a story of faith. “Whether you sincerely live your faith in quiet or have a great public ministry, you have a story of faith. “Whether you have a grade-school knowledge of the catechism or have a theological degree, you have a story of faith.” NCCB.
St. Francis ... “Preach the gospel —if necessary, use words” Not quite!
Regula non bullata1221 “Those who are going among the Saracens and other nonbelievers … can live spiritually among them in two ways. “One way is not to engage in arguments or disputes, but to be subject to every human creature for God’s sake and to acknowledge that they are Christians. “Another way is to proclaim the word of God when they see that it pleases the Lord ….”—St. Francis of Assisi.
Necessary, but Not Sufficient “The Good News proclaimed by the witness of life sooner or later has to be proclaimed by the word of life. There is no true evangelization if the name, the teaching, the promises, the Kingdom and the mystery of Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, are not proclaimed.” EN 22.
Evangelii Nuntiandi 1975 “This message is indeed necessary. It is unique. It cannot be replaced. It does not permit either indifference, syncretism or accommodation. It is a question of people’s salvation. … It is able to stir up by itself faith—faith that rests on the power of God. It is truth. It merits having the apostle consecrate to it all his time and all his energies, to sacrifice for it, if necessary, his own life.” EN 5.
Evangelii Nuntiandi 1975 “ Those who sincerely accept the Good News, through the power of this acceptance and of shared faith therefore gather together in Jesus' name in order to seek together the kingdom, build it up and live it. They make up a community which is in its turn evangelizing.” EN 13.
Redemptoris Missio1991 “I sense that the moment has come to commit all of the Church’s energies to a new evangelization and to the mission ad gentes. No believer in Christ, no institution of the Church can avoid this supreme duty: to proclaim Christ to all peoples.”—Pope John Paul II.
Go and Make Disciples 1992 • GOAL 1: To bring about in all Catholics such an enthusiasm for their faith that, in living their faith in Jesus, they freely share it with others.
Go and Make Disciples 1992 • GOAL 2: To invite all people in the United States, whatever their social or cultural background, to hear the message of salvation in Jesus Christ so they may come to join us in the fullness of the Catholic faith.
Go and Make Disciples 1992 • GOAL 3: To foster gospel values in our society, promoting the dignity of the human person, the importance of the family, and the common good of our society, so that our nation may continue to be transformed by the saving power of Jesus Christ.
Responding to Human Longing... • “At worship, they don’t feel they have contact with God.” • “They will do whatever to takes for them to have a sense of contact with God.” • “If liturgy could present people with an experience of Christ, with contact with Jesus, it would come closer to what people are actually seeking today.” Frank DeSiano,Sowing New Seed, p. 79ff.
Evangelization and Catechesis • Luke 24:13-35
Our Hearts Were Burning within Us • “We will share with them the living word of God, which can touch their hearts and minds and unfold the deep meaning of their experience in the light of all Jesus said and did. • “We will trust the capacity of prayer and sacrament to open their eyes to the presence and love of Christ. • “We will invite them to live and share this Good News in the world.” NCCB.
The Source of Vocations • A vocation comes from an experience with the God who calls us to holiness. • “The journey toward holiness is the path toward finding and satisfying our hunger for meaning….” • We are “to help young adults understand vocation as primarily a call to holiness and Christian maturity lived through single or married life, the priesthood, the diaconate, or religious life.” NCCB, Sons and Daughters of the Light (1996).
The Lay Apostolate Apostolicam Actuositatem (1965) “2. Since the laity, in accordance with their state of life, live in the midst of the world and its concerns, they are called by God to exercise their apostolate in the world like leaven, with the ardor of the spirit of Christ.”
The Lay Apostolate “The laity must take up the renewal of the temporal order as their own special obligation. Led by the light of the Gospel and the mind of the Church and motivated by Christian charity, they must act directly and in a definite way in the temporal sphere.” AA 7
The Lay Apostolate “However, an apostolate of this kind does not consist only in the witness of one's way of life; a true apostle looks for opportunities to announce Christ by words addressed either to non-believers with a view to leading them to faith, or to the faithful with a view to instructing, strengthening, and encouraging them to a more fervent life.” AA 6.
The Apostolate of the Young “Young persons exert very important influence in modern society. ... They should become the first to carry on the apostolate directly to other young persons, concentrating their apostolic efforts within their own circle, according to the needs of the social environment in which they live.” AA 12.
Unity in All Things “Whether the lay apostolate is exercised by the faithful as individuals or as members of organizations, it should be incorporated into the apostolate of the whole Church according to a right system of relationships. Indeed, union with those whom the Holy Spirit has assigned to rule His Church (cf. Acts 20:28) is an essential element of the Christian apostolate. No less necessary is cooperation among various projects of the apostolate which must be suitably directed by the hierarchy.” AA 23
The Importance of Formation • “The apostolate can attain its maximum effectiveness only through a diversified and thorough formation.” AA 28. • Spiritual • Doctrinal • Human values of friendship and cooperation • Learn how to view, judge and do all things in the light of faith & develop and improve themselves through doing ...