The New Evangelization is simple. It requires every Christian to use his or her gifts and talents and apply them to the work of evangelizing everyone. In the past, we assumed that every Catholic was already evangelized. In the past, we assumed that all we needed to do was catechize (educate). In the past we thought that the nuns and the priests would take care of all that work. It's plain enough to see that plenty of people in the pews on Sunday don't know, love and serve God as they ought. Something hasn't worked as it should... And so a NEW EVANGELIZATION is in order.
So "What is Evangelization?" There's an ancient Greek idea used to describe it: Kerygma. Put simply, it's the path from disbelief to belief through the preaching of Jesus.
Now, one can't be pressured and it can't be forced - but the journey can be made, with God's help, by anyone who is willing to take the first step. It's hard, but not complicated.
While some saints break it up differently, we at the Minor Basilica see five steps:
- Acceptance of Personal Sin
- Reception of Divine Mercy
- Interest in and Study of the "How" of Faith (also called Mystagogia)
- Interest in and Study of the "What" of Faith (also called Catechesis)
- Integration of these things into a life oriented toward heaven and open to the commands of God (also called Vocation)
Every Christian is called constantly to deepen his own love for God through these steps and to help others to do the same. Some will be called to do that in a more intellectual way. Others will be called to do it in a more nurturing way. Whatever the call, it goes out to all the Earth.
YOU ARE CALLED to be an evangelist. YOU ARE CALLED to be a part of the NEW EVANGELIZATION!