In 1975, Pope Paul VI issued Evangelii Nuntiandi, an encyclical reaffirming the laity’s role in evangelization:
“Lay people, whose particular vocation places them in the midst of the world and in charge of the most varied temporal tasks, must for this very reason exercise a very special form of evangelization. Their primary and immediate task is not to establish and develop the ecclesial community- this is the specific role of the pastors- but to put to use every Christian and evangelical possibility latent but already present and active in the affairs of the world.” (#70)
Every Pope since Paul VI has reechoed this urgent call to the laity urging them to unabashedly begin to evangelize the whole of culture and the world for Christ. This has been termed the “New Evangelization” which is principally focused on “re-proposing” the Gospel to those who have experienced a crisis of faith.
Yet, for this to occur there must be in the Church a move from ‘maintenance’ to ‘mission’ with the attendant requirement to emphasize personal conversion through programs which encourage individuals to integrate their faith experience into their daily lives. Such programs must always at their center emphasize the person of Jesus Christ, the gift of the Holy Spirit and the profound intimacy offered by the Father to all of his children. From the font of this relationship the laity as evangelists can begin to freely share their faith stories and to elicit the faith stories of others with the goal of calling each other to deeper conversion. It is only then, from the center of this experiential reality, that the laity can meaningfully begin the new evangelization of the modern world.
This means the mission of evangelization is both within and without, first to the community of believers, and then to the world itself -which desperately needs the hope which only the gospel can provide.
Come, join us in this mission with room for all to participant, learn and grow.
The gospel is for all men and woman
The gospel is for all of time
The gospel is the doorway to new life
The gospel is the hope of mankind
The gospel is joy and freedom
The gospel is for you!