Evangelization Resources

St. Peter in Jerusalem

St. Peter in Jerusalem Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:14)

Evangelization in its simplest form is proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ. The initial proclamation given by St. Peter on the day of Pentecost is called kerygma, a Greek word meaning “proclamation.”

This basic kerygma or proclamation is: "Jesus is the chosen Messiah of God, the one who was promised. And though He was crucified, He rose gloriously from the dead, appearing to His disciples, and having been exulted at the right hand of the Father through His Ascension, now summons all to him, through the ministry of the Church."

At our baptism, we were initiated into the people of God. We became adopted sons and daughters with rights of inheritance and privilege to call God, Abba Father. We were also called to discipleship and commissioned to proclaim the good news. Just as Jesus emerged from his own baptism commissioned by the Father into public ministry, similarly in our own waters of baptism we have been initiated, called, and commissioned.

Evangelization begins with conversion of the heart. To convert means not to live as all the others live, not do what all the others do, but to begin to see one's life through the eyes of God. Conversion means to come out of the delusion of self-sufficiency.

With our eyes wide open, we discover and accept our dependency upon God's love, forgiveness, and providential care. We accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior in a meaningful and intimate way. "For in him we live and move and have our being" Acts 17:28. We commit to and involve ourselves with the community of believers, His Holy Catholic Church.

The "New Evangelization" does not seek to invite people to experience only one moment of conversion
but rather to experience the gradual and lifelong process of conversion,, to develop a mature conscience, to sustain one’s faith through ongoing catechesis, and to integrate one’s faith into all aspects of one’s life.

WE RECOGNIZE THAT:

1. Evangelization is the responsibility of all Christians.
2. The message of evangelization is Christ and the Gospel.
3. The target audience of evangelization is believer and nonbeliever alike.
4. Evangelization occurs when we give witness by words and deeds.
5. Evangelization is ultimately the work of the Holy Spirit accomplished with human cooperation.

An evangelizing parish reaches out to the hurting and hopeless.  Throughout the Gospels, Jesus was moved with compassion toward anyone in pain.  The amount of pastoral care needed in a parish cannot be accomplished by any single pastor or small staff.  Evangelizing parishes mobilize the people of God through a variety of ministries that includes bereavement, divorce support groups, etc. Evangelizing parishes extend the compassion of Christ to all those in need.

An evangelizing parish announces the Good News and invites people to know Jesus in the Catholic faith community.  Many people are asking the big questions of life.  An evangelizing parish equips people with a credible faith who will take the initiative to reach out to the seekers of answers to the big questions Why am I here?  Where am I going?  Who will accompany me in sorrow and loss?

An evangelizing parish is a welcoming community.  It connects with people, welcomes people and retains people.  Evangelizing parishes go out of their way to invite neighbors to experience their community.  These parishes take time to get to know visitors.   Newcomers are invited to be part of a small faith-sharing group so that they can have a friendly, supportive and challenging experience of church.

WHERE DO YOU FIT IN? "Whom shall I send, send me, Lord!"  Isaiah 6:8

Review parish life/hospitality/Welcome New Parishioners Event perhaps a luncheon, encourage greeters to engage and be prepared to answer questions

Volunteer your time and gifts in RCIA PROGRAM for inquirys and reception into Church at Easter Vigil

Development of local events to which people would be specially invited    (e.g., open houses, open forums for airing questions and issues, events for friends or extended families,

Encourage families to say "Family Rosary" in their homes and invite neighbors (Save the Family Rosary Crusade unveiled at Mass Cathedral Basilica October 7 Bishop Hermann)

PARISH CARE GIVERS provide respite and support to care givers, provide meals transportation, prayer, sponsor programs that would assist, send Christmas cards, sympathy cards ministry of cards

PREFERENTIAL OPTION FOR THE POOR, ie..Affton Food Pantry, soup kitchen, Ladies Inn

By virtue of our Baptism no one is off the hook when it comes to Evangelization. Everyone has friends, family, neighbors, work associates etc. Below are some resources that you may find useful. They include a link to the Holy Bible, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Vatican II documents, Tips on encouraging Catholics to come Home to their faith, Catholic Apologetics (how to answer tough questions about our faith), and more..

Archdiocesan Links

Recommended books

  • Evangelizing Catholics: A Mission Manual for the New Evangelization - Scott Hahn
  • Forming Intentional Disciples - Sherry Weddell
  • The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic - Matthew Kelly
  • How to Defend the Faith Without Raising Your Voice - Austen Ivereigh
  • How to Share Your Faith With Anyone: A Practical Manual for Catholic Evangelization - Terry Barber
  • John Paul II and the New Evangelization - Ralph Martin and Peter Williamson
  • The New Evangelization and You: Be Not Afraid - Greg Willits
  • The Parish Guide to the New Evangelization - Fr. Robert J. Hater
  • Search and Rescue - Patrick Madrid
  • The Urgency of the New Evangelization: Answering the Call - Ralph Martin

Recommended documents

  • Ad Gentes: Vatican II's Decree on the Missionary Activity of the Church
  • Ecclesia in America: The Apostolic Exhortation of Pope John II on the Encounter with the Living Jesus
  • Evangelii Gaudium: The Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis on the Joy of the Gospel
  • Go and Announce the Gospel of the Lord: A Pastoral Letter on Evangelization - Archbishop Carlson
  • Go and Make Disciples: A National Plan and Strategy for Catholic Evangelization in the United States
  • Lineamenta: The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith
  • Redemptoris Missio: The Encyclical of Pope John Paul II on Missionary Mandate of the Church