GDC 48: Six Qualities of Evangelization

Six qualities of evangelization, heavily footnoted from the writings of Paul VI and John Paul II, not to mention Vatican II’s Ad Gentes:

48. Accordingly, in conformity with this, evangelization must be viewed as the process by which the Church, moved by the Spirit, proclaims and spreads the Gospel throughout the entire world. Evangelization:

  • – is urged by charity, impregnating and transforming the whole temporal order, appropriating and renewing all cultures; (114)
  • – bears witness (115) amongst peoples of the new way of being and living which characterizes Christians;
  • – proclaims explicitly the Gospel, through “first proclamation”, (116) calling to conversion. (117)
  • – initiates into the faith and the Christian life, by means of “catechesis” (118) and the “sacraments of Christian initiation”, (119) those who convert to Jesus Christ or those who take up again the path of following him, incorporating both into the Christian community; (120)
  • – constantly nourishes the gift of communion (121) amongst the faithful by means of continuous education in the faith (homilies and other forms of catechesis), the sacraments and the practice of charity;
  • – continuously arouses mission, (122) sending all the disciples of Christ to proclaim the Gospel, by word and deed throughout the whole world.(114) Evangelii Nuntiandi 18-20 and Redemptoris Missio 52-54; cf. Ad Gentes11-12 and 22.(115) Evangelii Nuntiandi 21 and 41; Redemptoris Missio 42-43; Ad Gentes 11.

    (116) Evangelii Nuntiandi 51,52,53. cf. Catechesi Tradendae 18, 19, 21, 25; Redemptoris Missio 44.

    (117) Ad Gentes 13; Evangelii Nuntiandi 10 and 23; Catechesi Tradendae 19; Redemptoris Missio 46.

    (118) Evangelii Nuntiandi 22 and 24; Catechesi Tradendae 18; cf. Ad Gentes 14 and Redemptoris Missio 47.

    (119) Ad Gentes 14; CCC 1212; cf. CCC 1229-1233.

    (120) Evangelii Nuntiandi 23; Catechesi Tradendae 24; Redemptoris Missio 48-49; cf. Ad Gentes 15.

    (121) Christifedeles Laici 18.

    (122) Christifedeles Laici 32, which demonstrates the close connection between “communion” and “mission”.

Commentary:

These six qualities make a logical progression and are of sound common sense. Certainly every pastor and serious catechist should be aware of them and intentional of how these aspects are evidenced in both personal ministry and in the evangelization efforts of the local faith community.

Charity is the public witness: service imbued with authentic love and affection for the non-believer.

Christians reveal through their life’s witness a better way of living human lives.

Christians are unafraid of proclaiming the Gospel in deed and word to those who are curious, inquiring, and sympathetic to the way of Christ.

People are incorporated into the Christian community through “catechesis,” which is more of an apprenticeship than a school. Liturgy is a part of this, especially the sacramental celebrations of the Church.

Faith formation is “continuous.” Sorry, there is no graduation.

New disciples take up the “mission” of Christ, and the cycle continues rather than shutting down.

As a parish liturgist, my ministry must be lensed through these evangelical considerations. My recent exposure to a more explicit evangelical style of campus ministry has challenged me to consider these aspects: how I contribute to all of them personally and through the people I oversee, plus how I conduct myself as a Christian believer. I may criticize the SCGS* meme. But what do I do about it? What about you?

* Small Church Getting Smaller

 

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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