Office for Evangelization and Catechesis

“Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” – Matthew 28: 19-20

What is Evangelization?

Excerpt from Go and Make Disciples: A National Plan and Strategy for Catholic Evangelization in the United States.

The simplest way to say what evangelization means is to follow Pope Paul VI, whose message Evangelii Nuntiandi (On Evangelization in the Modern World) has inspired so much recent thought and activity in the Church. We can rephrase his words to say that evangelizing means bringing the Good News of Jesus into every human situation and seeking to convert individuals and society by the divine power of the Gospel itself. At its essence are the proclamation of salvation in Jesus Christ and the response of a person in faith, which are both works of the Spirit of God.

Evangelization must always be directly connected to the Lord Jesus Christ. “There is no true evangelization if the name, the teaching, the life, the promises, the Kingdom and the mystery of Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God are not proclaimed.”

“Saint James urges us to “be doers of the word and not hearers only (1:22).” We each have an obligation to evangelize. Baptism gave us that vocation and every Mass ends by sending us into the world to proclaim Christ by our words and the testimony of our lives. Let us not lose even one opportunity to spread the Gospel in our world that so hungers for authentic happiness.”
– Most Reverend Ronald W. Gainer, Bishop of Harrisburg

We must evangelize because the Lord Jesus commanded us to do so. He gave the Church the unending task of evangelizing as a restless power, to stir and to stimulate all its actions until all nations have heard his Good News and until every person has become his disciple.

The Lord commanded us to evangelize because salvation is offered to every person in him. More than a holy figure or a prophet, Jesus is God’s Word, God’s “very imprint,” the power and wisdom of God. He is our Savior. Becoming like us and accepting our human nature, he addresses in himself, in his death and resurrection, the brokenness of our lives. He suffers through our sin; he feels our pain; he knows the thirst of our death; he accepts the limits of our human life so that he might bring us beyond those limits. “[H]e humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him!…” Taking on our death as Savior, Jesus was raised to life. In Christ, all can come to know that the sin, the coldness, the indifference, the despair, and the doubt of our lives are overcome by God’s taking on our human nature and leading us to new life. In him, and him alone, is the promise of resurrection and new life.

We cannot really talk about the “ordinary” life of the Church because all of it is the graced gift of the Holy Spirit. Yet there are familiar ways by which evangelization happens: by the way we live God’s love in our daily life; by the love, example, and support people give each other; by the ways parents pass faith on to their children; in our life as Church, through the proclamation of the Word and the wholehearted celebration of the saving deeds of Jesus; in renewal efforts of local and national scope; in the care we show to those most in need; and in the ways we go about our work, share with our neighbors, and treat the stranger. In daily life, family members evangelize each other; men and women, their future spouses; and workers, their fellow employees, by the simple lives of faith they lead. Through the ordinary patterns of our Catholic life, the Holy Spirit brings about conversion and a new life in Christ.

Here, there are two elements at work:

  • Witness, which is the simple living of the faith
  • Sharing, which is spreading the Good News of Jesus in an explicit way

Alpha for Catholics: Alpha is a series of sessions exploring the Christian faith, typically run over eleven weeks.
Amazing Parish: Seeks to revitalize the Church by equipping her pastors and leaders with the training, resources and support they need to create vibrant and thriving parishes.
Awakening Faith (Invite & Welcome Inactive Catholics): Small group process that helps inactive Catholics return to the Church.
Bible Study for Catholics: The Great Adventure Catholic Bible study program is designed in such a way that anyone can make sense of the Bible and experience the life-changing power of God’s Word.
Catherine of Siena Institute: Make apostolic formation and support readily available to all lay Catholics. Resources include Forming Intentional Disciples and Parish Missions.
Catholics Come Home: Invites fallen away and uncatechised Catholics to rediscover the truth, wonder and mystery of the Catholic faith, and to return to the practice of the sacraments and the fullness of relationship with Jesus Christ and the Church he founded.
Christian Hospitality: A Handbook for Parishes, Evangelization Ministry Archdiocese of Louisville
Christlife.org: Equips Catholics for the essential work of evangelization so others might personally encounter Jesus Christ and be transformed into His missionary disciples.
Evangelization.com: Content for small group faith sharing
Formed/Augustine Institute: Features great Catholic content: videos, audio talks, eBooks and movies.
Paulist Evangelization Ministries: Helps Catholics with programs to share their faith, to reach out to seekers and those who are disconnected.
Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization: In a particular way, the work of this Council is at the service to the Churches of ancient foundations and to those in traditionally Christian areas where secularization has become most apparent.
Rebuilt Parish: Draws on the wisdom gleaned from thriving mega-churches and innovative business leaders while anchoring this vision in the Eucharistic center of Catholic faith
Renewal Ministries: fosters renewal and evangelization in the Catholic Church by helping people both know the personal love of God in Jesus and grow in holiness.
Saint Paul Street Evangelization: St. Paul Street Evangelization provides the tools and resources for Catholics to engage the culture in a simple, non-confrontational method of evangelization which involves making themselves available to the public to answer questions about the faith and to pray with those who request it.
The Evangelical Catholic: Partners with parishes to bring the Good News to people in parishioner-led evangelization small groups.
Evangelic Nuntiandi

Rediscovering the Faith: Resources to help you rediscover the faith and answer questions about the Church and Church teachings.
Catechism of Catholic Church: Fundamental Christian truths presented in an accessible on-line version that helps in their understanding.
Catecismo Catolico de los Estados Unidos para los Adultos
Compendium of the Catechism
United States Catholic Catechism for Adults
Youth Catechism – YOUCAT
New American Bible
Catechesi Tradendae
Catechetical Content Tips and Teaching Points
The 15 Promises of Mary to Christians Who Recite the Rosary

Breadbox Media: This podcast network has a mission of connecting the unconnected Catholics. They offer a variety of podcasts that explore the Catholic faith.
Cursillo: The Cursillo can help the person in developing a deeper understanding of what it means to be fully Catholic by being fully Christian in order to exercise their mission as baptized individuals.
FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students): A Catholic collegiate outreach whose mission is to share the hope and joy of the gospel with college and university students.
That Man is You: In communion with other men focuses on becoming a Man after God’s Own Heart and develops the vision of man fully alive. It makes an honest assessment of challenges facing men today and provides a practical path to transformation by focusing on men’s relationship with God.
SportsLeader: This is a Catholic virtue-based formation program for Coaches and Directors of Sports Ministry of all levels: Grade School, High School and College.

Contacts

Mr James Gontis

Director for the Office for Evangelization and Catechesis

Office: 717-657-4804 x227