“It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth. But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.”
Mk 4: 31-32 What is the New Evangelization?
The New Evangelization calls each of us to deepen our faith, believe in the Gospel message and go forth to proclaim the Gospel. The focus of the New Evangelization calls all Catholics to be evangelized and then go forth to evangelize. In a special way, the New Evangelization is focused on “re-proposing” the Gospel to those who have experienced a crisis of faith. Pope Benedict XVI called for the re-proposing of the Gospel “to those regions awaiting the first evangelization and to those regions where the roots of Christianity are deep but who have experienced a serious crisis of faith due to secularization.”1 The New Evangelization invites each Catholic to renew his/her relationship with Jesus Christ and his Church.
The New Evangelization offers hope
Why do we need the New Evangelization?
The New Evangelization offers hope. Jesus grants all people rest and comfort from the world’s burdens (Mt. 11:28) by offering us the hope of salvation and eternal life. Through the “re-proposing” of the Gospel, the Church seeks to comfort all those who are burdened. The New Evangelization offers the gifts of faith, hope, love and new life in Christ.
The New Evangelization in the United States
The Church in the United States can be likened to the mustard seed. The Church has been present in the Americas since the first missionaries arrived in the 15th century. Over the past five centuries, the Church’s foundation has sprung up and taken root in the U.S., spreading her branches and offering shade to the weary. This can be seen simply by looking at the work of Catholic Charities on behalf of the poor, the network of Catholic schools offering education to millions, and the commitment of U.S. Catholics to the Church’s social justice teachings. However, there is still work to do.
The 2008 Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) study “Sacraments Today: Belief and Practice Among U.S. Catholics. . . ,” provides a glimpse into the beliefs, practices and attitudes of U.S. Catholics. According to the study, only 23% of U.S. Catholics regularly attend Mass once a week, while 77% self-identify as proud to be Catholic. These statistics point to the need for the New Evangelization.
The seed of the Church is present, but the message of Jesus Christ needs to be re-sown and watered for those who have already heard Christ’s call, but who have not been fully evangelized or catechized. Truly, the seed of Christ’s message has taken root and yielded much fruit in past seasons. In the spirit of the New Evangelization, it is our hope that the resources on this page will yield even greater harvests for Christ in the future so that all people can dwell in the shade.
To learn more about the New Evangelization, please explore these resources:
Pope Benedict XVI and the New Evangelization:
Announcement of the Year of Faith October 11, 2012 – November 24, 2013: Porta Fidei. . .
Migration and the New Evangelization: Message for the 2012 World Day of Migrants and Refugees. . . Family Life and the New Evangelization: Address to the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Family. . . Pontifical Council For Promoting The New Evangelization: Address To Participants in The Plenary Assembly Of The Pontifical Council For Promoting The New Evangelization. . .
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: Advent and Christmas Resources Go and Make Disciples: A National Plan and Strategy for Catholic Evangelization in the United States The Intellectual Tasks of the New Evangelization United States Catholic Catechism for Adults
Diocesan Resources: Archdiocese of Chicago- Going Forth. . . Archdiocese of San Antonio- Office of Evangelization. . . Archdiocese of Washington- Living the New Evangelization. . .
Coming Soon: An Evangelization and Catechesis Committee Resource on the New Evangelization and Welcoming Catholics Home. Check back soon!
Pope Benedict XVI, “Homily of First Vespers on the Solemnity of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul,” The Vatican, http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/homilies/2010/documents/hf_ben-xvi_hom_20100628_vespri-pietro-paolo_en.html. . .
(accessed February 15, 2011).