CFN – What’s new about the New Evangelization, you might ask. Great question! The Gospel message is as timeless as ever. The newness called for is in ardour, in methods, and in means of expression. That’s the challenge before us today.
The late Pope John Paul II, in his Address to Pontifical Commission for Culture, March 1997, stated:
“In a society where Christianity seems absent from social life and the faith relegated to the private sphere, access to religious values becomes more difficult, especially for the poor and the young.” And in Mission of the Redeemer he declared: “I sense that the moment has come to commit all the Church’s energies to a new evangelization.”
In June of 2010, Pope Benedict XVI announced the creation of a new Pontifical Council to spearhead this New Evangelization. October of 2012 will witness a Special Synod of Bishops devoted entirely to the theme of The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith. Clerical and lay representatives from around the world have been invited to participate. The working document for the synod can be found online LINK
Every Baptized Christian is mandated not only to live the Good News, but to share it with others; it’s imperative. But how? Just doing the same old things is no longer adequate.
A few weeks ago at a mission by Fr. Graham Keep held at St. Peter’s Parish, people from across the diocese packed the Church each evening to hear how our culture is in dire need of evangelizing and that each one is called to be part of the solution. Clergy, religious, educators and some lay ministers participated in a workshop that effectively communicated some of the ways that our culture is negatively influenced by secular philosophies that are both counter-productive and illogical (http://youtu.be/KwK-oJrHuw8). The remedy? To spread awareness, to be willing to change, and to open oneself to the power of God to accomplish what cannot be achieved with mere human strength (http://youtu.be/9GVKEGguF).
As a next step, on Thursday April 12, 2012 at 7 p.m. at the Agora Centre (former Nativity Hall), Michael Dopp will help us understand the New Evangelization… what it is, why it is important and how we can share the Good News in our homes, workplaces and everywhere we go. He holds a Licentiate in Sacred Theology with a focus on the New Evangelization and is full of simple ideas to help us share the Gospel message easily. Fr. Graham Keep highly recommends him. Everyone is welcome. Please don’t miss this opportunity!
I met with Michael recently to discuss his ministry and the upcoming presentations. Here are two short video clips – one in which he outlines his two talks to be presented on the 12th (http://youtu.be/0XgxWAETtK8) and the other in which he offers some insights into the ministry to which he and his wife have been called (http://youtu.be/h0WrdTyOx0U).