To say that the term “New Evangelization” is raising questions among us as to its meaning, what we might do differently, who and how we are to evangelize - is an understatement! A great deal is being written about the topic that can aid us in our implementation of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Plan – Disciples in Mission. In this update we offer quotes for reflection from the Synod of Bishops and the U. S. Bishops’ Conference. These quotes and their web references may help “unpack” the meaning and the challenge that the “New Evangelization” puts before us.
In 2011, Bishops Synod produced the document: The New Evangelization for the Transmission of Christian Faith.
"A new evangelization is synonymous with mission, requiring the capacity to set out anew,
go beyond boundaries and broaden horizons. The new evangelization is the opposite of self- sufficiency, a withdrawal into oneself, a status quo mentality and an idea that pastoral programs are simply to proceed as they did in the past. Today a 'business as usual' attitude can no longer be the case. Some local Churches, already engaged in renewal, reconfirm the fact that now is the time for the Church to call upon every Christian community to evaluate their pastoral practice on the basis of the missionary character of their program and activities." —Synod of Bishops XIII Ordinary General Assembly, The New Evangelization for the Transmission of Christian Faith, Lineamenta, #10
In 2013, the Bishops Conference (USCCB) set out a Strategic Plan called: The New Evangelization – Journey with Christ: Faith - Worship - Witness.
“To make the New Evangelization a reality is to become pilgrims on a journey or pilgrimage with Jesus Christ- much like the journey of Jesus meeting the disciples along the road to Emmaus. The journey or pilgrimage includes moments for a deepening of our faith, increasing our participation in the sacramental life of the Church, and leads finally to our destination of being Christian witnesses.” THE NEW EVANGELIZATION JOURNEY WITH CHRIST: FAITH – WORSHIP – WITNESS ~ USCCB Strategic Plan
For your Reference:
What is the New Evangelization? In this four minute clip, Bishop John Doerfler from the Diocese of Marquette, gives an interesting explanation of the New Evangelization and a simple strategy everyone can use.
*Our friends in the Diocese Broken Bay, New South Wales, Australia have prepared a wonderful pastoral resource: The Joy of the Gospel - Seven Challenges from Pope Francis. They kindly give us permission to share it. This could be a great addition to a parish /collaborative Adult Faith Formation program or source of study for Parish Councils and Finance Councils. Thank you Broken Bay!
Several parishes have had great success sponsoring The Whole Parish Reads programs. If budgets allow, providing the designated books for parishioners as a Christmas gift is a good way to encourage participation.