Preparing for the Year of Faith Begins October 11, 2012and concludes November 24, 2013
Begin: 11 Oct 201250th Anniversary ofOpening of Vatican II20th Anniversary of CCC –power and beauty of faithGeneral Assembly of Synod of Bishops: NewEvangelization for the Transmission of the Christian FaithEnd: 24 Nov 2013: Christ Universal King
Good opportunity Good opportunity to usher the whole Church into a time of particular reflection and rediscovery of faithOpportunity -favorable time for doing something -chance to improve something Seize it and not waste it (Carpe annum!)
Preparing for the Year of Faith “The Year of Faith is intended to contribute to a renewedconversion to the Lord Jesus and to the rediscovery of faith,so that the members of the Church will be credible and joyfilled witnesses to the Risen Lord in the world of today - capable of leading those many people who are seeking it to the "door of faith." This "door" opens wide man’s gaze toJesus Christ, present among us "always, until the end of the age (Mt 28:20).” -Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, January 6, 2012 The Foundation of Faith “The Lord said: Upon this rock I shall build my Church because Peter has first said: You are Christ, the Son of the living God. The Lord was really saying: I shall build my Church upon the rock which you have acknowledged. For the rock was Christ, and upon this foundation even Peter himself was raised up. Another foundation indeed no one can lay except that which was laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
The door of faith: always open The door of faith is always open for us, -ushering us into the life of communion with God and -offering entry into his Church.
It is possible when… It is possible to cross the thresholdwhen the Word of God is proclaimed and The heart allows itself to be shaped by transforming grace
Setting out on a journey• To enter through that door is to set out on a journey that lasts a lifetime. – Begins with Baptism – we address God as Father – Through Death to eternal life• To profess faith in Trinity is to believe in one God who is Love – God is love: Everything must start from here and everything must lead to here, every pastoral action, every theological treatise. – Benedict XVI 22 April 2007
Rediscover the journey of faith: Joy and enthusiasm• So as to shed ever clearer light on the joy and renewed enthusiasm of the encounter with Christ – Lead people out of the desert, towards the place of life, towards friendship with the Son of God
Jesus’ teaching is about reality MIND True REALITY God and Eternal Law Man and Moral law False World and Physical lawsNothing is truer than the words of Truth
What’s different about our society, culture and Church today?
RESEARCH Erosion in Mass Attendance (entire Catholic population): 75% in 1957 44% in 1987 37% in 1999 33% in 2005 31% in 2011 Generational Profile of our Church: Pre Vat. II Vat. II Post- Vat. II Mill. (Born before 1940) (1941-60) (1961-1982) (1983-2003)2011 10% 33% 34% 23% Generations Attending Mass weekly or more:2005 60% 35% 26% 15%2011 54% 31% 29% 23%
• What implications can you draw from this research?• What are you experiencing in your parish that reflects this research?• What do we need to do to welcome others into relationship with Christ?
EVANGELIZATION From the Hebrew word, basar“to proclaim the good news or joyful tidings”
The Aim of Catechesis "The definitive aim of catechesis is to put people not only in touch, but also in communion and intimacy, with Jesus Christ. All evangelizing activity is understood as promoting communion with Jesus Christ. Starting with the ‘initial’ conversion of a person to the Lord, moved by the Holy Spirit through the primary proclamation of the Gospel,catechesis seeks to solidify and mature this first adherence. - General Directory of Catechesis, 80
Begins with our Conversion "Before being sent to evangelize, they would have to ‘be’ with Jesus, establishing a personal relationship with him. With this foundation, evangelization is no more than a proclamation of what has been experienced and an invitation to enter into the mystery of communion with Christ.” -Pope Benedict XVI, March 22, 2006 “The life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.” -Galatians 2:20b
Some important background: •The ancient concept of the ministry of evangelization has been reintroduced and redefined since Vatican II Ecumenical Council and the 1975 Apostolic Exhortation “Evangelii Nuntiandi” (“The Gospel Must Be Proclaimed”) by Pope Paul VI. •Evangelization is not a Protestant phenomenon and it is not a specialized activity reserved to a few experts, but it is the basic right and duty of all believers.
Paul VI in Envangelii Nuntiandi says,“May these words succeed to give a freshimpulse to everyone, the whole People of Godassembled in the Church, so that each one ofthem may follow ‘a straight course in themessage of the truth,’ and may work as apreacher of the Gospel and acquit himselfperfectly of his ministry”(EN 5).“The whole Church is missionary, and the workof evangelization is a basic duty of the Peopleof God” (EN 59).Evangelization is my fundamental responsibility as a Catholic Christian.
What is evangelization? The official definition of evangelization comes from Pope Paul’s Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Nuntiandi.“For the Church, evangelizing means bringing the Good News into all the strata of humanity, and through its influence transforming humanity from within and making it new. . . The purpose of evangelization is. . . interior change. . . the Church evangelizes 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 milieu which are theirs” (EN 18).
Grass-roots Definitions of Evangelization“Evangelization is loving people into the Kingdom!”“Evangelization is inviting people into a loving and personal relationship with Jesus Christ, which is then nurtured by a loving and caring Catholic faith community.”“Evangelization is the process of extending oneself in order to nurture the spiritual well-being of another person.”
There is an urgency to evangelize and catechize.Pope Benedict XVI calls for the Year of Faith to contributeto a renewed conversion to Jesus Christ and to therediscovery of faith so that the members of the church willbe credible and joy-filled witnesses to the risen Lord in theworld today. Apostolic Letter of Benedict XVI, Porta Fidei, 2011The “door of faith” (Acts 14:27) is always open for us, ushering usinto the life of communion with God and offering entry into hisChurch. It is possible to cross that threshold when the word of Godis proclaimed and the heart allows itself to be shaped bytransforming grace. To enter through that door is to set out on ajourney that lasts a lifetime (1). Blessed John Paul II called it “The New Evangelization”.
Blessed John Paul II described three different kinds of evangelization:Mission ad gentes: Latin for “to the nations.” This is a situation where “Christ and his Gospel are not known.”Christian communities: “In these communities the Church carries out her activity and pastoral care.” This is the ongoing evangelization of those “fervent in the faith.”New Evangelization: The new evangelization pertains to a very specific group of people: fallen-away Christians “where entire groups of the baptized have lost a living sense of the faith, or even no longer consider themselves members of the Church, and live a life far removed from Christ and his Gospel. In this case what is needed is a ‘new evangelization’ or a ‘re-evangelization.’”
Church documents and experience teach us: (Practical Applications)• Evangelization and Catechesis cannot exist apart from each other.• Evangelization and Catechesis must be adapted to every age and stage of life. It does not mean the end to systematic, developmental religious education. Rather, religious education is just one of the many ways we are evangelized and learn about our faith throughout our lives.• Evangelization is a lifelong process, not a program.
• The parish is the ‘curriculum’: everything we do- from liturgy, to social outreach, to the way people are greeted in the parish, to the look of the parish newsletter and website, evangelizes.• Vibrant Liturgies are the ultimate experiences of faith, where the Word of God, the Good News, is proclaimed, received, learned, celebrated and lived.• Evangelization is the ministry of conversion; of witness; of building relationships with Christ and each other.
• Our pastor’s vision and the commitment to evangelization are fundamental. That doesn’t mean he has to do all the work, but he must be the guiding force and the cheerleader!
Jesus is the model of the NewEvangelization. He called individuals one byone; he entered into personal relationships.He proclaimed the love of God toindividuals, in homes, communities,territories, and it continued to spread fromthose whom He encountered.
What do we need to do to celebrate the Year of Faithand the New Evangelization?
What impels us to evangelization• Caritas Christi urget nos: It is the love of Christ that fills our hearts that impels us to evangelization.• Jesus convokes Church – Mandate: proclaim the Gospel• Need: stronger commitment to new evangelization to rediscover joy of believing and enthusiasm for communicating the faith.
Teach the last commands of Christ because he commanded us to teach themTwo parts of Christ’s last words:(1) Go and make disciples of all the nations…(2) Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded 2nd command contains teaching the first commandWhy are the Protestants more zealous evangelizers? Perhaps because they teach the Great Commission!
May this Year of Faith….• Make our relationship with Christ the Lord increasingly firm – “you love him though you do not now see him you believe in him and rejoice with unutterable and exalted joy. – Central formula: “I believe in you” (Ratzinger, Intro to Christianity) Infidelity is infidelity to Someone who calls• Benedict XVI to Philippine Bishops Priority: friendship with Christ (on it everything depends)
Suggestions from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith• Read Pope Benedict’s Letter Porta Fidei.• Intensify the celebration of the Eucharist.• Study the Catechism and make it and catechetical resources more widely available to parishioners.• Priests offer homilies on: “the encounter with Christ,” “the fundamental contents of the creed,” and “faith and the church.”• Promote missions and other “popular” programs.• Create small communities of faith that help parishioners understand the Catechism better.• Communicate your experience of “fath and charity” to people of other faiths and no religion at all.
Suggestions from the Diocesan Pastoral Council• Focus on catechetical activities, particularly intergenerational with materials at kids’ level.• Train all in parish how to welcome.• Each parishioner invites one other person to participate in the parish.• Involve church associations outside the parish and invite members into parish involvement.• Bulletin suggestions on everyday evangelization.• More Bible studies for all ages.
“The Church does not give up or retreat into herself; instead, sheundertakes a project to revitalizeherself. She makes the Person of Jesus Christ and a personal encounter with him central to her thinking, knowing that he will give his Spirit and provide the force to announce and proclaim the Gospel in newways which can speak to today’s cultures.” -Preparation Document for 2012 Synod on the New Evangelization, 1
Porta Fide and CDF Note• http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/b enedict_xvi/motu_proprio/document s/hf_ben-xvi_motu- proprio_20111011_porta- fidei_en.html• http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/c ongregations/cfaith/documents/rc_co n_cfaith_doc_20120106_nota-anno- fede_en.html
Internet Resources Vatican: http://www.vatican.va/CCC: http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc.htm Catholic Education Resource Center: http://www.catholiceducation.org/ CBCP pastoral statements:http://cbcponline.net/v2/?page_id=1807 CBCP for life: http://cbcpforlife.com/
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