Presentation on theme: "THE NEW EVANGELIZATION FOR THE TRANSMISSION OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH Kingston Deacons - August, 2012."— Presentation transcript:
THE NEW EVANGELIZATION FOR THE TRANSMISSION OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH Kingston Deacons - August, 2012
The XIII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops October 7-28, 2012 “The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith”
The 50 th Anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council The 20 th Anniversary of the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The Inauguration of the Year of Faith October 11, 2012
Preparation for Synod Announcement: By Benedict XVI (at the end of the Special Synod for the Middle East, October 24, 2010) Lineamenta: includes questions to be answered by Bishop's conferences, Bishops of Eastern Churches Departments of the Roman Curia Union of Superiors General Individuals, Lay associations, ecclesial movements Instrumentum Laboris: Collected and summarized responses due Nov. 1, 2011 (Released May 27, 2012) Synod: October 7-28, 2012 Synod Documents:
Purposes of the Synod To give new fervour to the faith and to the testimony of Christians and their communities To enliven and energize the church in undertaking a new evangelization ( not just ad gentes but to the baptized) Rediscover the joy of believing and a rekindling of enthusiasm in communicating the faith Faith is strengthened when it is given to others
I. Jesus Christ, The Good News of God to Humanity II. Time for a New Evangelization III. Transmitting the Faith IV Revivifying Pastoral Activity Sections of the Instrumentum Laboris
I. Jesus Christ, The Good News of God to Humanity (I.L.11) a. Jesus Christ the Evangelizer b. The Church, Evangelized and Evangelizing c. The Gospel a Gift for Every Person d. The Duty to Evangelize d. Evagelization and Church Renewal
1. Jesus Christ, The Good News of God to Humanity The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the Gospel. (Mark 1:15) Personal Response: What does this text mean to you? What does Jesus Christ have to do with this declaration? What does this mean for the modern Church?
Some Considerations: 1. Christian faith is more than simply teachings, wise sayings, a code of morality or a tradition. (I.L.18) 2. Christian faith is about an encounter and a relationship with Jesus Christ. (I.L.19) Consider the relationships in each of the following texts: 1) Matthew 9:9-13; 2) Mark 5:21-43; 3) Luke 12: 22-34; 4) John 4: 7-29 For each text describe the relationship which Jesus has with the other characters of the text. What qualities attract them / frighten them ? If faith is a relationship with Jesus, describe the faith in these texts.
What attracts you to Jesus ? How is that relationship expressed in your own faith ? How do you nurture the relationship ? How does that attraction shape your ministry ? Personal Response:
Transmitting the faith means to create in every place and time the conditions that lead to an encounter between the person and Jesus Christ. I.L.18 The goal of all evangelization is to create the possibility for this encounter. I.L.18
The encounter with Jesus is to be : Intimate Personal Public Communal
Jesus himself, the Good News of God, was the very first and greatest evangelizer. I.L. 21 For Jesus the purpose of evangelization is drawing people into his intimate relationship with the Father and his Spirit. I.L. 23
The way Jesus treated people is to be considered an essential element of Jesus' method of evangelizing. Jesus' evangelizing experience leads quite naturally to a conversion experience
Those who accept the Gospel, as a gift and for the fruits it produces in them, come together in the name of Jesus to preserve and nourish their faith.
After Jesus' death and resurrection, the disciples proclaim the gospel to everyone. Work of the Spirit as at Penetcost. That ministry continues to this day.
The Gospel is seen to be a gift for every person I.L. 28 We proclaim Jesus himself... Jesus calls everyone to conversion for the Kingdom of God. Jesus draws near to those on the margins of society. Sent to bring good news to the poor... Lk.14:18 Shows them the love of God... Touches persons physically and spiritually... Jesus heals and forgives... Initiates a transformation and participation in the life of God, who renews us in the present moment.
Evangelization consists in proposing the Gospel which transforms the human individual, his world and his personal story. I.L. 31 The Church evangelizes when, in virtue of the power of the Gospel proclaimed, she takes every human experience and gives it rebirth through the death and resurrection of Jesus, immersing each one in the newness of Baptism and life according to the Gospel and in the Son's relationship to his Father, so as to feel the power of the Spirit. I.L. 31
“Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction. [...] Since God has first loved us (cf 1 Jn. 4:10), love is now no longer a mere command; it is the response to the gift of love with which God draws near to us.” Benedict XVI, Encyclical Letter Deus charitas est ( 25 December, 2005), 1
There are difficulties in making these experiences contemporary and transmissible. Sometimes, it seems that these historical works are part of a past age and are confined there because they seem to lack the ability to communicate the evangelical character of their witness in the present day. I.L. 32
II. Time for a New Evangelization (I.L. 41) a. The Question of a new Evangelization b. Sectors of the New Evangelization c. New Frontier of the Communications' Sector d. Changes in the Religious Sector e. Christians within these Sectors f. Mission Ad Gentes, Pastoral Care g. Parish Transformation and the New Evangelization h. A Definition and its Meaning
The evangelizing ministry of the Church has changed form and method through the years depending on places and situations. I.L. 41. Vatican II reminded us that “ groups among which the church dwells are often radically changed, for one reason or another, so that an entirely new set of circumstances may arise.” ( Vatican II, Ad Gentes, 6) Today, we witness a cultural change which challenges our mandate to proclaim the Gospel. I.L. 42 These changes are both positive and negative. They advance human culture, increase knowledge, but they also cause many to question values and some fundamental aspects of daily life which affect people's faith.
If on the one hand humanity has derived undeniable benefits from these changes and the Church has drawn from them further incentives for bearing witness to the hope that is within her (1 Pt. 3:15), on the other hand, there has been a troubling loss of the sense of the sacred, which has even called into question foundations once deemed unshakeable, such as faith in a provident creator God, the revelation of Jesus Christ as the one Saviour, and a common understanding of basic human experiences: i.e. birth, death, life in a family, and references to natural moral law. Even though some consider these things a kind of liberation, there soon follows an awareness that an interior desert results, whenever the human being, wishing to be the sole architect of his nature and destiny, finds himself deprived of that which is the very foundation of all things. Pope Benedict XVI Apostolic letter motu proprio Ubicumque et semper Nov 21, 2010
From your perspective, what challenges face the Canadian Catholic Community ?
TEN MAJOR FAITH STRUGGLES OF OUR AGE Ron Rolheiser OMI 1. The struggle with the atheism of our everyday consciousness, that is the struggle to have a vital sense of God within a secular culture which, for good and for bad, is the most powerful narcotic ever perpetrated on this planet... the struggle to be conscious of God outside of church and explicit religious activity.
2. The struggle to live in torn, divided and highly-polarized communities, as wounded persons ourselves, and carry that tension without resentment and without giving it back in kind... the struggle inside our own wounded selves to be healers and peace makers rather than ourselves contributing to the tension.
3. The struggle to live, love and forgive beyond the infectious ideologies that we daily inhale, that is, the struggle for true sincerity, to genuinely know and follow our own hearts and minds beyond what is prescribed to us by the right and the left... the struggle to be neither liberal nor conservative but rather men and womwn of true compassion.
4. The struggle to carry our sexuality without undue frigidity and without irresponsibility, the struggle for a healthy sexuality that can both properly revere and properly delight in this great power... the struggle to carry our sexuality in such a way so as to radiate both chastity and passion
5. The struggle for interiority and prayer inside of a culture that in its thirst for information and distraction constitutes a virtual conspiracy against depth and solitude, the eclipse of silence in our world... the struggle to move our eyes beyond our digital screens toward a deeper horizon.
6. The struggle to deal healthily with the dragon of personal grandiosity, ambition, and pathological restlessness, inside of a culture that daily over-stimulates them, the struggle to healthily cope with both affirmation and rejection... the struggle inside of a restlessness and over-stimulating environment to habitually find the delicate balance between depression and inflation.
7. The struggle to not be motivated by paranoia, fear, narrowness and over-protectionism in the face of terrorism and over powering complexity... the struggle to not let our need for clarity and security trump compassion and truth.
8. The struggle with moral loneliness inside a religious, cultural, political and moral Diaspora... the struggle to find soul mates who meet us and sleep with us inside our moral centre.
9. The struggle to link faith to justice... the struggle to get a letter of reference from the poor, to institutionally connect the gospel to the streets, to remain on the side of the poor.
10. The struggle for community and church, the struggle inside a culture of excessive individuality to find the healthy line between individuality and community, spirituality and ecclesiology... the struggle as adult children of the enlightenment to be both mature and committed, spiritual and ecclesial.
The Sectors of the New Evangelization: Must decipher the places new and old where the Gospel is to be proclaimed: - Cultural Sector: This is where secularization is taking place with little or no reference to the transcendent. Also the place of our shared humanity where believers and non- beleivers meet. Place to introduce the gospel... -Social Sector:This includes the great migrations across the world and into urban centres. Leads to cultural liquidity and loss of long standing traditions. This is globalization... can lead to new soldarity, development and understanding.
The Economy:associated with inequality, violence, greed and abuses among nations Increased separation of rich and poor Civic Life:New economic, political and religious actors from the Islamic and Asian worlds. Rich potential, fraught with dangers Science and Technology: wonderful achievements which can benefit humanity also the possibility of excessive expectations and manipulation. Can become the new religion
New sector in Communications:electronic and media culture. Becoming a forum of civic life and social experience.Can change the experience of reality itself. Changes in Religious Sector:Need for various forms of spirituality especially among the young. Fosters religious experience and re-establishes its centrality in peoples lives. Can also be negative: religions of the staus quo, new cults, Emotional and psychological dominance.
Christians within these Sectors (I.L. 68) Examining these sectors permits a critical reading of the way of life, the thinking and the discourses which they espouse and can serve as a self-examination which Christians are called upon to do, to see if the manner of life and the pastoral activity of Christian communities are, in fact, suited to the task and avoidong inactivity by attentively considering the future. Lineamenta responses speak of : “silent apostasy,” weakening of faith, lack of personal involvement, insufficient spiritual guidance, Excessively bureaucratic church, removed from the concerns of average people, lack of dynamism in of ecclesial communities, loss of enthusiasm, decline in missionary zeal. Ecessively formal character of liturgical celebrations, routinization of riotuals, lack of deep spirituality. Counter-witness ( abandon vocation, scandals, little sensitivity to everyday people)
The new Evangelization should seek to orient every man and woman's human freedom towards God, the source of truth, goodness and beauty.
Mission Ad Gentes, Pastoral Care and a New Evangelization A Blending of all components of ministry without boundary. At home and abroad, Requires a process of renewal : - examination of self and the quality of evangelization in home communities. - Duty of everyone in the Church - Examine the Church's life and pastoral activity by examing one's life of faith and involvement in Gospel proclmation.
Parish Transformation and the New Evangelization: ( I.L.80-84) Foster a Christian life which is better capable of sustaining the faith of members and illuminating, through witness, various areas of society: “ Small Christian Communities” - “ Basic Christian Communities” - ways of “Being Church” - Concerned about parishes which can become too concerned about themselves. - “Pastoral unity” speaks of inter parish cooperative efforts. - Must rediscover missionary origins and outward focus. -parishes are more than liturgical centres- must become centres for propogating and bearing witness to the Christian experience – listening to people and ascertaining their needs. - faith is witnessed, faith is nourished and strengthened, God's plan for humanity is discussed and enacted. - Communities of joy – gathered by the Spirit – prepared to live one's vocation as missionary.
Definition of the New Evangelization: ( I.L. 85) Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (Dec. 3, 2007) In its precise sense, evangelization is the missio ad gentes directed to those who do not know Christ. In a wider sense, it is used to describe ordinary pastoral work, while the phrase “new evangelization” designates pastoral outreach to those who no longer practice the Christian faith.”
- Primary concern is the Christian West ( Europe and North America) - Directed to the baptized who no longer practice. - Directed at those living in an “interior desert” One specific task of the new evangelization is to raise again the question of God in places and situations of real-life which have virtually eliminated the question. Demands a very thorough examination and understanding of the root causes of the situation. Called by the Spirit of the risen Lord, We are called to live the Good News as individuals, in our families, as Church and in society, and to proclaim it with fresh zeal to persons near and far, using new methods that divine Providence has placed at our disposal.
I II. Transmitting the Faith ( I.L. 89) a. The Primacy of Faith b. The Church Transmits the Faith which She Herself Lives c. The Pedagogy of the Faith d. The Persons Involved in the Transmission of Faith d. The Family, The Model-Place for Evangelization e. Called to Evangelize f. Giving an Account of one's Faith g.The Fruits of the Faith
Announcing and proclaiming the Good News is not the task of any one person or a select few, but rather a gift given to every person who answers the call to faith. The whole Church, in this very activity, continually rediscovers her identity as a People gathered together by the Spirit to live Christ's presence among us and discover the true face of God who is Father.
Primacy of Faith Transmission of faith is a fundamental act of the Church It leads Christian Communities to articulate the basic works of a life of faith: Charity, Witness, Proclamation, Celebration, Listening, Sharing.
The Church Transmits the Faith which she herself lives Liturgy, most of all the Eucharist, transforms a community from a simple gathering of people into a community which transmits faith in God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Eucharist becomes a pattern for living that shapes the life of the community and reaches outward, through the community, into the world.
The Persons involved in the transmission of faith The transmission of faith involves the whole Church. Believers are gathered by the Spirit into communities to be nourished by word and sacrament, by witness and proclamation. Pastoral activity allows the Church to enter different, local, social settings and from within, display the richness and variety of ministries which bring life to everyday existence. The parish becomes an important centre, not simply as a place of religious services, but a gathering place for families and study groups and service groups and a lived celebration of life.
The Family as the Model-Place for Evangelization The Lineamenta responses emphasized the place of family in the transmission of faith. Family is the place of witnessing a lived belief in the dignity of persons and values of a Christian life-style. Formation and transmission of faith from the very beginning of life. Family needs the support for the faith community. (As couples, raising children, educating children)
Called to Evangelize Special call to evagelize: 1.) in consecrated life 2.) Flowering of groups and movements Insitutes, cursillo, various charisms, Catholic Action
I V. Revivifying Pastoral Activity (I.L. 129) a. Christian Initiation: An Evangelizing Process b. The Demands of Initial Proclamation c. Transmitting the Faith, Educating the Person d. Faith and Knowledge e. The Basis for an Evangelizing Pastoral Programme f. The Centrality of Vocations
This section of the I.L. begins with a text from the Gosepl of Matthew: Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. (Mat 28:19-20 NRS)
The command to make disciples of all nations and to baptize them gave origin, at different times in the history of the Church and pastoral practice to transmit the faith and the necessity of proclaiming the Gospel in human terms, which are grounded in culture and present within them. I.L. 129 Vatican II declared: “... With the help of the Holy Spirit, It is the task of the entire People of God, especially pastors and theologians, to hear, distinguish and interpret the many voices of our age, and to judge them in light of the divine word, so that revealed truth can always be more deeply penetrated, better understood and set forth to greater advantage” Gaudium et Spes, 44
An increasingly clear understanding of the forms of transmission of the faith, together with the emerging social and cultural changes which are posing challenges to Christianity today, have prompted the Church to begin a general process of reflection and reassessment of her pastoral programmes, particularly those devoted to initiation into the faith, instruction and the proclamation of the message of Christianity. ( I.L. 130)
How will the Church oversee the ongoing renewal of initiation practices ?? What are your current practices around initiation into the Faith ? ( Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist )
Certainties from the Lineamenta about initiation into the faith: 1. the customary entrance to Christian life is infant baptism. The practice of infant baptism is seen as an indication of a high level of inculturation of Christianity in their lands. The choice to postpone baptism is often associated with concerns around free choice for a child once he reaches adulthood.
2. It is also a common practice of adults and adolescents to request Baptism. Fewer than infant baptisms but the course of preparation, the scrutinies and the celebration of the sacrament are moments which nourish the faith of the catechumen and the community. 3. The more active engagement of catecumens, parents and godparents in preparing for sacraments of initiation ( Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist) leads to better participation in later Christian life. 4. Many place have initiated a “post-baptismal” catecumenate. Pastoral programmes for Baptism are one of the priorities of the new evangelization. ( I.L. 135)
Admission to First Communion takes place in elementary school, preceded by a course of preparation, which can also have experiences of mystagogy and guidance in later years. Greater variety is seen in the practices of preparation for Conformation
Demands of Initial Proclamation ● How attract people's attention and interpret their questioning and search for happiness? ● How appeal to non-believers ? ● How appeal to those who already believe? What are your experiences of these types of proclamation? How do these issues appear in your ministry? How does this impact your Sunday homily?
What role is played by the following as Initial Proclamation: Parish missions ? Marriage preparation? Novenas? Marian devotion s?
Transmitting the Faith, Educating the Person Evangelization and education are related ( I.L. 147) Catholic schools and universities are present throughout the world. The institutions are intended to pass on to future generations basic values of life and moral conduct. They educate people in faith, discipleship and witness to the Gosepl. What are your experiences of the Catholic School? How must we approach questions of individualism and relativism?
The Basis for an Evangelizing Pastoral Programme ( I.L. 158) “ Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses... It is therefore primarily by her conduct and by her life that the Church will evangelize the world, in other words, by her living witness of fidelity to the Lord Jesus, by her witness of poverty and detachment, and by her witness of freedom in the face of the powers of this world, in short, the witness of sanctity.” Paul VI Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi ( Dec. 8, 1975)
Only those who have been evangelized themselves, and are being evangelized, can evangelize. (I.L. 158) Comment to your elbow partner.
We become witnesses when, through our actions, words and way of being, Another makes himself present. Witness could be described as the means by which the truth of God's love comes to men and women in history, inviting them to accept freely this radical newness. Through witness, God lays himself open, one might say, to the risk of human freedom. Benedict XVI Post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation Sacrametum caritatis ( 22 February, 2007, 85
Centrality of Vocations Hope that this synod leads to a better understanding of the call of all the baptized to their missionary and evangelizing responsibility. Must know how to speak in terms which are understandable. At all times be accountable for that hope which is within you. Encourage families and their role in evangelization. Focus on priestly ministry and consecrated life. Our fullest vocation is to be alive and to respond to God's love in our lives, taking up tasks and ministries which help to build up the Church.
Last Word The new evangelization means giving the reason for our faith, communicating the word of hope to a world which seeks salvation. PEOPLE NEED HOPE SO THEY CAN LIVE IN THE PRESENT MOMENT. Approach the new evangelization with enthusiasm. May the world, which seeks answers to the great questions of the meaning of life and truth, experience, with renewed unexpecteness, the joy of meeting Jesus through you.
Summary 1. Jesus Christ is the primary evangelizer drawing us into relationship with God. 2. The Spirt animates the faith community to continue making Christ present to the world and to draw all people into relationship with God. 3.The methods of evangelizing change with the times 4.The current faith community must be revitalized in its ministry 5. Called to recognize new ways we make Christ present in pastoral minstry, parish, sacrament and in faith witness 6.Focused attempt to revivify pastoral activity in service of proclaiming Good News to all.
May God bless us and the world through your ministries.