What is Evangelization?
Evangelization is sharing the good news of the Gospel to all who seek the life-giving message of faith in Jesus Christ. Evangelization is the primary and paramount mission of the Church, the Body of Christ throughout the world. Each of us, as members of the Body of Christ, the Church, is called by our baptism to share the salvation of Jesus with our families, friends, parish communities and society. To share in the Church’s mission of Evangelization is to grow in our relationship with Jesus Christ.
What is the New Evangelization?
Since Vatican II, Popes Paul VI, John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis have use the term “New Evangelization” to refer to the unique situation that the Catholic Church is in today. In the United States, only 23% of Catholics attend Mass once a week or more. Many Catholics just feel too busy to attend Mass regularly and don’t feel particularly connected to the Church. Many have begun to call themselves “spiritual” but not “religious.”
These are new challenges in the history of the Church. For centuries the Church’s evangelical mission sought to preach the gospel to the nations of non-Christians that did not know Christ. Now the Church is called to a new evangelization, an evangelization within itself, a “re-evangelization.”
John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis call for an evangelization to those who have already been baptized. The call to the new evangelization is a call for the baptized members of the Church to deepen their faith and reach out to other Christians in deep need of a new encounter with Christ. In modern times this means re-proposing the Gospel to people in countries and cultures heavily influenced by secularization, especially in the USA.
The audience for the New Evangelization are those who have already heard Christ proclaimed. The call to the New Evangelization is a call for the baptized members of the Church to deepen their faith and reach out to other Christians in deep need of a new encounter with Christ. 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. The New Evangelization invites each Catholic to renew their relationship with Jesus Christ and his Church.
How is Our Lady of Charity heeding the call to the New Evangelization?
Prayer for Evangelization
Eternal Father, we ask you through your Son Jesus Christ, and the intercession of Mary Immaculate, star of the New Evangelization, to pour forth your Holy Spirit upon the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
Through the gift of the Holy Spirit, renew and transform us, and make fruitful the work of evangelization. Root us deeply in the heart of your Son so that we may radiate him more fully, sharing with others the Good News of salvation in Christ, who alone is the fulfillment of all human desiring.
Transform our parishes and make of them shining lights, beacons of hope that reach those who are far from you, drawing them back to your fold.
Consecrate us in your truth and accomplish your plans in us according to your holy will.