Tag Archives: New Evangelization

America’s Voice in the World’s New Evangelization

The Holy See has appointed 45 persons as Experts and Observers for the forthcoming Thirteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, 7 to 28 October on the theme: “The new evangelization for the transmission of the Christian faith.”

While they are not the full members of the Synod of Bishops (they’re not bishops) these people do have an essential role in that they will contribute to the conversation and will help to frame the outcome. Noteworthy are the number of women invited: 10 experts and 19 observers.

There will be seven US bishops and ten other Americans at the Synod.

The is the list of non-bishops from the Americas which ought to be noted (more noted here):

Sr. Sara Butler M.S.B.T., professor, St. Mary of the Lake University, Mundelein, and member of the International Theological Commission

Sr. Paula Jean Miller F.S.E., professor, Department of Theology of the University of St. Thomas, Houston

Sr. Mary Lou Wirtz F.C.J.M., president of the International Union of Superiors General

Marylee J. Meehan, president of the International Catholic Committee of Nurses and Medico-Social Assistants

Fr. Jeremy Driscoll O.S.B., professor, Theological Faculty of Rome’s St. Anselm Pontifical Athenaeum, and professor, Mount Angel Seminary, St. Benedict, OR

Edward Peters, professor, Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit

Ralph Martin, director of graduate theological programs in the new evangelization at the Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit

Carl Albert Anderson, supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus

Curtis A. Martin, founder and president of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students – Focus Missionaries

Peter Murphy, executive director of the Secretariat fo Evangelization and Catechesis, US Conference of Catholic Bishops.

‘American dream’ fulfilled in Jesus

The Catholic News Agency carried a story by David Kerr on Chris Bacich the US leader of Communion and Liberation (CL) this week at the Rimini Meeting in Italy.
Notable in Chris’ interview is that Chris puts his finger on the reality of Christian faith today when he speaks of those who find in CL a “real willingness to grapple with the real life, everyday culture in which [they] live, while showing no fear” because they “recognize that the encounter with Christ, and his presence in our life, is the answer to this desire for a life that is better, that is great, that is worthwhile and fruitful.”

As point of clarification, CL is not a “lay ecclesial movement”; it is technically improper to call the ecclesial movements “lay ecclesial movements” because the movements are not limited to the lay faithful, but are open to the ordained as well. Many of the movements have ardent followers who are deacons, priests and bishops in the movements. Therefore, not “lay ecclesial.”

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A Light from the South illuminating the World?

“…the whole purpose of evangelism is to foster friendship with Jesus Christ, the Son of God who reveals both the face of the merciful Father and the truth about our humanity,”

In a June 13, 2012 column on the First Things website, George Weigel published a few brief reflections on his visit to Argentina and the evangelization work being done that resulted in what is being called the “Aparecida Document” (the full text is below) which is a collation of the documents from the Fifth General Assembly of Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean (CELAM) of 2007. Weigel is naming the very long Aparecida Document as the master plan of evangelization. We ought to take note.

We in the north need this document; we need to study it and to apply its perspective to our context. But beware: we need to have the same thrust —
+ “everything in the Church must be mission-driven”
+ we need a “permanent catechesis: an ongoing encounter with the Lord Jesus, deepened spiritually through Word and Sacrament, the Bible and the Eucharist.”
+ we need to live the Gospel and the Tradition given to us.

Two new Doctors of the Church: The Lord’s effective witnesses in the world

Reminding us that the Holy Spirit “continues to inspire women and men who engage in the pursuit of truth” Pope Benedict announced that on October 7, at the beginning of the Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, he would proclaim St. John of Avila and St. Hildegard of Bingen as Doctors of the Church. “These two great witnesses of the faith lived in very different historical periods and came from different cultural backgrounds,” he said. “But the sanctity of life and depth of teaching makes them perpetually present: the grace of the Holy Spirit, in fact, projected them into that experience of penetrating understanding of divine revelation and intelligent dialogue with the world that constitutes the horizon of permanent life and action of the Church.”

The Pope continued: “Especially in light of the project of the New Evangelization, to which the Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will be dedicated, and on the vigil of the Year of Faith, these two figures of saints and doctors are of considerable importance and relevance.”

New evangelizers in the United States

The April 21, 2012 issue of L’Osservatore Romano ran this editorial on the work of the evangelization in the United States. We are getting noticed for our zeal for the Gospel. Perhaps we colonialists do have something to contribute to the life of the Church universal.

“Join us in a journey to re-discover the faith or answer questions about reconnecting with the Catholic Church”. This is the call of  the document by the Bishops of the United States which intends renew with great strength the mission of spreading and proclaiming the Gospel. The episcopate’s initiative, written for the modern man and for the benefit of the whole community, is centred on references to the Pontifical Magisterium and to other interventions of the episcopate.


Disciples Called to Witness: The New Evangelization is the title chosen for the document that “focuses on reaching out to Catholics, practicing or not, who have lost a sense of the faith in an effort to re-energize them”, as described in a note by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). 

It was chairman of the USCCB Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis, Bishop David Laurin Ricken of Green Bay, Wisconsin, to point out this new duty, stating: “Every Catholic has a role in the Church, and every Catholic is called to spread the Gospel”. But he adds “in order to evangelize, a person must first be evangelized. This is really the heart of the New Evangelization”. The document especially highlights the call of Pope Benedict XVI to pursue the New Evangelization with renewed vigor and joy.

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About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT, follows the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, and is an Oblate of Saint Benedict, works as a monastery farmer and a keeper of honey bees. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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