“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations.” – The Great Commission of Jesus Christ to his Church (Matthew 28:19)
All Christians are called to be witnesses to the Gospel in our words and actions: this is evangelization in a nutshell. While the “New Evangelization” does not change the mission or Gospel message, it involves “new ardor, methods, and expressions” in the words of Pope St. John Paul II.
Why do we need a New Evangelization? Church teachings and Christian values are increasingly watered-down or rejected in our culture. For over 50 years, the call has grown more urgent for a renewed commitment to evangelization, particularly a “re-proposing” of the Gospel in the secular Western world, and even in our own parish pews.
We are all called to be missionary disciples, but we can’t give what we don’t have. When we commit ourselves to prayer, discipleship and service, when we participate in the power of the Eucharist through the Mass, we are “set on fire” with love for Christ and want to welcome others into the light of faith. “Those who have opened their hearts to God’s love, heard his voice and received his light, cannot keep this gift to themselves.” Pope Francis, Lumen Fidei (“The Light of Faith”).
How do we share the gift of faith? Christ teaches us how to invite people into communion with him: namely, through love.
- We witness with our lives. We live the everyday moments of our lives with Christian charity, faith, and hope. In particular, faith begins at home.
- We witness with our words. We are not afraid to speak about our faith. We are prepared to give the reason for the hope that is in us, yet always with love toward our listener. (1 Peter 3:15) We earn the right to be heard, then speak.
- We pray unceasingly. (1 Thes. 5:17) We pray for the New Evangelization, the ongoing conversion of our own hearts, and the conversion of the hearts of others.
- We become a “bridge to Christ.” We build relationships and accompany others in discipleship. Faith is a journey best walked with friends, guided by the light of Christ.
THE NEW EVANGELIZATION AT HOLY GHOST PARISH
At Holy Ghost Parish, “evangelization” is not a separate ministry or activity, but touches everything we do in a continuous building up of God’s people. We invite and welcome newcomers and strengthen each other in faith, so that we can be a beacon of Christ’s light in the Chippewa Falls community. All parishioners are invited to contribute ideas and get involved!
Holy Ghost Parish also provides support to local apostolates whose mission is evangelization:
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES AND READING
- “Today, as never before, the Church has the opportunity of bringing the Gospel, by witness and word, to all people and nations.” Pope St. John Paul II, Redemptoris Missio (Mission of the Redeemer)
- “May the world of our time, which is searching, sometimes with anguish, sometimes with hope, be enabled to receive the good news…from ministers of the Gospel whose lives glow with fervour, who have first received the joy of Christ.” Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel)
- Living as Missionary Disciples (USCCB)
- Word on Fire (Bishop Robert Barron global apostolate)
- St. Paul Street Evangelization
- Catholics Come Home
- To Light a Fire on the Earth, Bishop Robert Barron
- Evangelizing Catholics, Dr. Scott Hahn
- Forming Intentional Disciples, Sherry Weddell
MARY, STAR OF THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
Holy Ghost Parish is consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Mary shows us the way to her Son, and we join in the prayer of the Holy Father Pope Francis for her loving intercession.
Mary, Virgin and Mother, you who, moved by the Holy Spirit, welcomed the word of life in the depths of your humble faith: as you gave yourself completely to the Eternal One, help us to say our own “yes” to the urgent call, as pressing as ever, to proclaim the good news of Jesus…
[P]ray for the Church, whose pure icon you are, that she may never be closed in on herself or lose her passion for establishing God’s kingdom.
Star of the new evangelization, help us to bear radiant witness to communion, service, ardent and generous faith, justice and love of the poor, that the joy of the Gospel may reach to the ends of the earth, illuminating even the fringes of our world.
Mother of the living Gospel, wellspring of happiness for God’s little ones, pray for us. Amen. Alleluia!
Prayer (Fides) – Understanding (Ratio) – Service (Caritas)