The New Evangelization
The purposes of the Second Vatican Council are definitively summed up in this single one: to make the Church of the twentieth century ever better fitted for proclaiming the Gospel. Evangelii Nuntiandi 1
We wish to confirm once more that the task of evangelizing all people constitutes the essential mission of the Church. Evangelizing is in fact the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity. She exists in order to evangelize. Evangelii Nuntiandi 14
Here lies the test of truth, the touchstone of evangelization: it is unthinkable that a person should accept the Word and give himself to the kingdom without becoming a person who bears witness to it and proclaims it in his turn. Evangelii Nuntiandi 23
Within the whole process of evangelization, the aim of catechesis is to be the teaching and maturation stage, that is to say, the period in which the Christian, having accepted by faith the person of Jesus Christ as the one Lord and having given Him complete adherence by sincere conversion of heart, endeavors to know better this Jesus to whom he has entrusted himselfPope John Paul II, Catechesi Tradendae 20
A person who has given adherence to Jesus Christ by faith and is endeavoring to consolidate that faith by catechesis needs to live in communion with those who have taken the same step. Catechesis runs the risk of becoming barren if no community of faith and Christian life takes the catechumen in at a certain stage of his catechesis. That is why the ecclesial community at all levels has a twofold responsibility with regard to catechesis: it has the responsibility of providing for the training of its members, but it also has the responsibility of welcoming them into an environment where they can live as fully as possible what they have learned.Catechesi Tradendae 24
“Thus through catechesis the Gospel kerygma (the initial ardent proclamation by which a person is one day overwhelmed and brought to the decision to entrust himself to Jesus Christ by faith) is gradually deepened” Catechesi Tradendae 25
Conversion means accepting by personal decision the saving sovereignty of Christ and become His disciple. Redemptori Missio 46
Let us rediscover, dear brothers and sisters, the beauty of being baptized in the Holy Spirit; let us be aware again of our baptism and of our confirmation, sources of grace that are always present. Pope Benedict XVI, Pentecost 2008
Before being sent to evangelize, they would have to ‘be’ with Jesus, establishing a personal relationship with him. With this foundation, evangelization is no more than a proclamation of what has been experienced and an invitation to enter into the mystery of communion with Christ.
Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction. Deus Caritas Est 1
Only when their faith permeates every aspect of their lives do Christians become truly open to the transforming power of the Gospel.
The Year of Faith is intended to contribute to a renewed conversion to the Lord Jesus and to the rediscovery of faith, so that the members of the Church will be credible and joy-filled witnesses to the Risen Lord in the world of today – capable of leading those many people who are seeking it to the “door of faith.” This “door” opens wide man’s gaze to Jesus Christ… Today too, there is a need for stronger ecclesial commitment to new evangelization in order to rediscover the joy of believing and the enthusiasm for communicating the faith. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – On the Year of Faith, 2012
In fact, we live in a privileged time. Unlike prior generations, we cannot be lukewarm, uninformed, or casual about the gift of faith. Today is a time of decision and commitment, and we are at the forefront. Bishop Paul Loverde, Bishop of Arlington. “Go Forth with Hearts on Fire“