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Evangelization

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In 1992, the U.S. Bishops issued three goals in "Go and Make Disciples"

Goal I:  To bring about in all Catholics such an enthusiasm for their faith that, in living their faith in Jesus, they freely share it with others.

Goal II:  To invite all people in the United States, whatever their social or cultural background, to hear the message of salvation in Jesus Christ so they may come to join us in the fullness of the Catholic Faith.

Goal III: To foster Gospel values in our society, promoting the dignity of the human person, the importance of the family, and the common good of our society so that our nation may continue to be transformed by the saving power of Jesus Christ.

Resources


Essential Church Documents

On Evangelization in the Modern World (Evangelii Nuntiandi) Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Paul VI

Evangelii Nuntiandi

On December 8, 1975, Pope Paul VI promulgated a groundbreaking document on evangelization called Evangelii Nuntiandi (On Evangelization in the Modern World).  In it, he proclaimed, "the Church exists to evangelize."  He called us as a Church to renew and reclaim our roots as an evangelizing community.  Catholics throughout the world were being called to realize that there is a difference between being a believer and being a disciple.  Pope Paul VI challenged us to reflect on three key questions:

"For the Church, evangelization means bringing the Good News into all the strata of humanity, and through its influence transforming humanity from within and making it new the Church evangelizing when she seeks to convert, solely through the divine power of the message she proclaims, both the personal and collective consciences of people, the activities in which they engage, and the lives and concrete milieux which are theirs."

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith - Doctrinal note on some aspects of evangelization

Christifideles Laici - On the vocation and the mission of the lay faithful in the church and in the world

Redemptoris Missio - On the permanent validity of the Church's missionary mandate

Redemptoris Missio

Building on Paul VI's understanding of evangelization, Pope John Paul II called for a "new evangelization" that is an evangelization that is new in ardor, methods and expression.  The new evangelization must deepen the faith of Christians, forge a new culture open to the Gospel message, and promote the social transformation of the world.

"I sense that the moment has come to convert all of the Church's energies to a new evangelization."

Go and Make Disciples: A National Plan and Strategy for Catholic Evangelization in the United States

Go and Make Disciples

On November 18, 1992, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops published Go and Make Disciples: A National Plan and Strategy for Catholic Evangelization in the United States.  The reason they issued this plan was their deep and earnest desire to make evangelization a natural and normal part of Catholic life and to give evangelizers the tools and support they need to carry out this ministry today.  The three goals outlined in this document are:

Goal I: To bring about in all Catholics such an enthusiasm for their faith, that, in living their faith in Jesus, they freely share it with others.

  • Believe - Encourage all Catholics to experience conversion to a deeper holiness and a greater love of God.

Goal II: To invite all people to hear the message of salvation in Jesus Christ so they may come to join us in the fullness of the Catholic Faith.

  • Share - Welcome and invite others to learn about and share in the Catholic Faith and encounter Jesus Christ in the Sacraments.

Goal III: To Foster Gospel values in our society, promoting the dignity of the human person, the importance of the family, and the common good of our society, so that our nation may continue to be transformed by the saving power of Jesus Christ.

  • Transform - Change society with the power of the Gospel.

These three goals constitute the thrust of evangelization of the Catholic Church. In implementing these goals, we strive to fulfill the mission of Christ through the Church which is the reason that we exist in the first place.