- Monday, 16 April 2012 13:14
The group deputed to work with questions and programs on the teachings of the Catholic faith and the sharing of that faith with others, USCCB Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis published “Disciples Called to Witness: The New Evangelization.” There are a lot of great resources herein. The opening paragraphs are here:
Christ commands us to be his witnesses to the ends of
the earth. We are to proclaim his Good News to all people, everywhere and at all times. After Christ promises the disciples that the Holy Spirit will come upon them, he ascends into heaven. The disciples, rather than heeding Christ’s command to be his witnesses, stare “intently at the sky.” It takes “two men dressed in white garments” asking, “Men of Galilee, why are you . . . looking at the sky?” for the disciples to begin to realize the meaning of Christ’s command (Acts 1:10-11).
How often do we fail to realize that we are called to be Christ’s witnesses to the world? Do we realize that our Baptism, Confirmation, and reception of the Eucharist bestow on us the grace we need to be disciples? Are we like the disciples staring at the sky rather than inviting those around us to experience Christ’s love and mercy through the Church? How often do we reach out to our missing brothers and sisters by inviting them to join us at Mass or by asking why they no longer feel welcomed at the Lord’s Table? The answers to these questions underlie the evangelizing mission of the Church, especially in the call of the New Evangelization
The New Evangelization seeks to invite modern man and culture into a relationship with Jesus Christ and his Church. The New Evangelization strives to engage our culture and to help us draw our inspiration from the Gospel. The New Evangelization calls all Catholics first to be evangelized and then in turn to evangelize. While it is directed to all people, the New Evangelization focuses specifically on those Christian communities that have Catholic roots but have “lost the living sense of the faith, or even no longer consider themselves members of the Church…”
- Sunday, 25 March 2012 22:58
(evening prayer) with the gathered bishops of Latin America at the
Cathedral-Basilica of Our Lady of Light, (Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico) this evening the Holy
Father address the following homily. His thoughts turn our attention to a
deeper fidelity in belonging to Christ, being true in communion with others,
rooted and ground in Love. The homily is terrific, he hits on some real significant issues that concern the Catholic Faith and the promotion of Justice. But I can’t help thinking that the Pope is treating this pastoral visit as a giant Ad limina.
It gives me great joy to be able to pray with all of
you in this Basilica-Cathedral of León, dedicated to our Lady of Light. In the
lovely painting venerated in this basilica, the Blessed Virgin holds her Son in
one hand with immense tenderness while extending her other hand to succour
sinners. This is how the Church in every age sees Mary. We praise her for
giving us the Redeemer and we put our trust in her as the Mother whom her
divine Son bequeathed to us from the Cross. For this reason, we invoke her
frequently as “our hope” because she has shown us Jesus and passed down to us
the great things which God constantly does for humanity. She does so simply, as
a mother teaches her children at home.
A decisive sign of these great things is
given to us in the reading just proclaimed at these Vespers. The people of
Jerusalem and their leaders did not acknowledge Christ, yet, by condemning him
to death, they fulfilled the words of the prophets (cf. Acts 13:27). Human evil
and ignorance simply cannot thwart the divine plan of salvation and redemption.
Evil is simply incapable of that.
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- Sunday, 19 February 2012 14:11
The Catholic buzz word is the “evangelization.” It’s running the risk of becoming an irrelevant concept if we don’t take the time to really understand the contours of sharing the faith given to us by the Holy Spirit and authentically lived in the communion of the Church. Some bishops from Africa and Europe had a symposium to explore the needs and desires in living Christianity as an event from the 13-17 February. It didn’t get much press in these parts because (A) it is perceived that neither Africa and Europe are so far away from North America that what the symposium had to do didn’t impact us and (B), well Africa and Europe have little to say to us. Wrong. We are a communion of peoples; live our faith in communion with other Christians around the world not in isolation from the another group of people. What the Church in Africa does should, in fact, shed light on our life of faith. We belong to Christ, therefore to the Church and therefore each other; no Christian is alone.
Listen to what the Pope says here.
Fifty years after the opening of the Second Vatican Council and a few months away from the Synod on New Evangelization, we wanted to look into our hearts about this theme: Evangelization today: Communion and Pastoral Collaboration between Africa and Europe. The human person and God: the Church’s mission to proclaim God’s presence and love. In this Symposium we have found the joy of reunion, and we have assessed the progress made over these eight years. Indeed, the Beatitudes are our common treasure. More and more, they make us discover our complementary nature, but also our co-responsibility and interdependence in the lives of our local Churches. It’s a question of rising to the challenges of an increasingly new Evangelization in our two continents today “For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body ( …) and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many” (1 Corinthians 12 :13-14). We have rejoiced for the progress we have made in the last decades in the relations between our two continents – the Synods for Africa and for Europe, as well as our meetings, are a testimony to this very fact.
For the full report, see The Vatican Insider
- Thursday, 22 December 2011 09:34
The review of the proclamation of the Gospel in 2011 by the Pope is a stunning reminder that not all is complete if not rooted and grounded in Christ. His questions are good points for self-examination. Be careful to read the emphasis added to the text.
The occasion that brings us together today is always particularly moving. The holy feast of Christmas is almost upon us and it prompts the great family of the Roman Curia to come together for a gracious exchange of greetings, as we wish one another a joyful and spiritually fruitful celebration of this feast of the God who became flesh and established his dwelling in our midst (cf. Jn 1:14). For me, this is an occasion not only to offer you my personal good wishes, but also to express my gratitude and that of the Church to each one of you for your generous service; I ask you to convey this to all the co-workers of our extended family. I offer particular thanks to the Dean of the College, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, who has given voice to the sentiments of all present and of all who work in the various offices of the Curia and the Governorate, including those whose apostolate is carried out in the Pontifical Representations throughout the world. All of us are committed to spreading throughout the world the resounding message that the angels proclaimed that night in Bethlehem, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to people of good will” (Lk 2:14), so as to bring joy and hope to our world.
As this year draws to a close, Europe is undergoing an economic and financial crisis, which is ultimately based on the ethical crisis looming over the Old Continent. Even if such values as solidarity, commitment to one’s neighbour and responsibility towards the poor and suffering are largely uncontroversial, still the motivation is often lacking for individuals and large sectors of society to practise renunciation and make sacrifices. Perception and will do not necessarily go hand in hand. In defending personal interests, the will obscures perception, and perception thus weakened is unable to stiffen the will. In this sense, some quite fundamental questions emerge from this crisis: where is the light that is capable of illuminating our perception not merely with general ideas, but with concrete imperatives? Where is the force that draws the will upwards? These are questions that must be answered by our proclamation of the Gospel, by the new evangelization, so that message may become event, so that proclamation may lead to life.
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