Pope Francis

 
 

 Fr. Solanus Casey

Pope Francis affirms miracle attributed to beloved friar’s intercession, paving the way for Detroit’s champion of the poor to be named ‘blessed’.

Read the entire article by clicking HERE.


 

New Evangelization

 
 
 

Pope Francis on the New Evangelization

In Pope John Paul II's encyclicals, speeches and other writings he uses the term new evangelization. Catholics as well as other Christians have been intriqued and interested in his frequent use of this term. What is he referring to and what are characteristics of this new evangelization'?

According to the pope, "The expression New Evangelization was popularized in the encylical of Pope Paul VI Evangelization in the Modern World, as a response to the new challenges-that the contemporary world creates for the mission of the Church."1 Pope John Paul II sees the need for a "great relaunching" of evangelization in the present life of the Church in a variety of ways.2 In Mission of The Redeemer (Redemptoris Missio ), John Paul II presents a new synthesis of the Church's teaching about evangelization in modern times.

The pope's call to a new evangelization is a prophetic and revolutionary calling to the Roman Catholic Church. As we approach the third millennium, Pope John Paul II is re-directing and re-focusing the Church's priorities. John Paul II proclaims "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."3 The Catholic Church committing all c of it energies to a new evangelization and mission to the nations is a radical change in emphasis. The reality is that the vast majority of Catholics (clergy and laity) are not inclined to evangelization. The term, evangelization, itself for most Catholics sounds Protestant. Additionally the Catholic Church is understood by many her own members, as well as by those outside her life, to be primarily liturgical pastoral and hierarchical. One might argue: "Isn't evangelization and missionary activities something Protestants do?" Yet the Church teaches that she is missionary by her very nature, evangelization is a duty of every Christian.4 Pope Paul VI in his apostolic exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi states, "We wish to confirm once more that the task of evangelizing all people constitutes the essential mission of the Church. It is a task and mission which the vast and profound changes of present day society make all the more urgent. Evangelizing is in fact the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity. She exists in order to evangelize. . ."5 While the notion of evangelization may seem foreign to Catholics, in light of the times we are living in, the changing world scene, the deterioration of western civilization, and the weak condition of the Church in many parts of the world, Pope John Paul lI's urgent call to a new evangelization is imperative. The entire Church must come to embrace this calling and make it a normal part of Catholic life.
 

 

Why is the New Evangelization new?

 
Our Evangelization Committee is studying the book, "Forming Intentional Disciples" by Sherry A. Weddell. The following is taken from the Introduction. What have we learned about our Catholic faith? "We learned that there is a chasm the size of the Grand Canyon between the Church's sophisticated theology of the lay apostolate and the lived spiritual experience of the majority of our people. And this chasm has a name: discipleship. We learned that the majority of even "active" American Catholics are still at an early, essentially passive stage of spiritual development. We learned that our first need at the parish level isn't catechetical. Rather, our fundamental problem is that most of our people are not yet disciples. They will never be apostles until they have begun to follow Jesus Christ in the midst of his Church."
 
 
What does the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops say about the New Evangelization? The New Evangelization calls each of us to deepen our faith, believe in the Gospel message and go forth to proclaim the Gospel. The focus of the New Evangelization calls all Catholics to be evangelized and then go forth to evangelize. In a special way, the New Evangelization is focused on 're-proposing' the Gospel to those who have experienced a crisis of faith.Pope Benedict XVI called for the re-proposing of the Gospel "to those regions awaiting the first evangelization and to those regions where the roots of Christianity are deep but who have experienced a serious crisis of faith due to secularization." The New Evangelization invites each Catholic to renew their relationship with Jesus Christ and his Church.

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