Catholic Evangelization Training Center - Training in the NEW Evangelization Evangelization Training
  • Decrease
  • Increase
Catholic Evangelization Training Center - Training in the NEW Evangelization


What is evangelization?

  1. The word comes to us from ancient history when a slave was chosen to bring back to the ruler the good news of victory in battle. The bearer of this good news was always granted his freedom and so he would come running, nearly dancing for joy, as he bore the good news of victory that would gain freedom for him. So, too, we Christians should proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ and his victory over sin and death, the victory that frees us to become joyful children of God. This is what evangelization is all about.
  2. In the strict sense, evangelization means the proclamation of the Good News that in Jesus Christ, the Son of God made man, salvation is offered to the whole world as a gift of God's grace and mercy
  3. In a broader sense, evangelization means any activity rooted in Christ that promotes the transformation of humanity from within making it new.
  4. Essentially, evangelization is bringing others to know the love of Jesus and to experience his healing, forgiving love. It is the fundamental mission of the Church.

Is evangelization something new for the Church?

Evangelization is a new word for most Catholics yet the mission of evangelization has existed within the Church since the time of Jesus Christ. Most Catholics are more familiar with the words "convert-making" or "missionary work".

Who is to evangelize?

It is the whole Church that receives the mission to evangelize and the work of each individual member is important to the whole. Jesus came as the first evangelizer and commissioned each one of us to do the same. Each of us, as members of his Body, the Church, is called by him to be a visible, concrete expression of him in our world today.

Why should we evangelize?

Jesus, before ascending to the Father, commissioned his disciples, and therefore the Church, to evangelize when he said in Matthew 28:19f, "Go therefore 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; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age."

How does Jesus prepare us to carry out this mission?

Jesus gives us his very own Spirit, the Holy Spirit, who empowers us to be able to carry out this mission of evangelization. Please look at the Gospel of John, chapter 14, verses 16 and 17; chapter 14, verse 26; chapter 15, verses 26 and 27; chapter 16, verses 7-11, and verses 13-15.

How do we begin to evangelize?

We begin first of all by being evangelized ourselves, by becoming more deeply converted to the Lord Jesus and by being renewed in the power of the Holy Spirit. We need to look at how deep our own commitment to the Lord Jesus is and whether our lives and lifestyle reflect that commitment. What we speak to others about Jesus must be confirmed by our witness of life. In the First Letter of Peter, chapter 3, verse 15, we are told that we must "always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence"

How can we prepare ourselves for this mission of evangelization?

Pope Paul VI, in his Apostolic Exhortation on Evangelization in the Modern World, puts forth six means by which we can prepare ourselves for this mission (the numbers in parentheses refer to the numbered sections in the Apostolic Exhortation).

  1. Through the action of the Holy Spirit: evangelization will never be possible without the action of the Holy Spirit (n. 75). Without the Holy Spirit, no amount of preparation, technique or argument will have power over the heart of a person. The Holy Spirit is the principle agent of evangelization.
    -It is the Holy Spirit who impels us to proclaim the Gospel.
    -It is the Holy Spirit who opens hearts to understand and accept the word of salvation.
    -It is the Holy Spirit who is the goal of evangelization which is the new creation.

    Therefore, we are exhorted to study the Holy Spirit's action in evangelization today.

  2. Through authentic witness of life: it is essential that we be authentic (n. 76). We are to ask ourselves:
    -Is what I proclaim that which I believe?
    -Is what I believe that which I live? -Is what I live that which I preach?

    The world calls for and expects from evangelizers:
    -Simplicity of lifestyle,
    -A spirit of prayer,
    -Charity towards all,
    -Obedience and humility,
    -Detachment and self-sacrifice,
    -Knowledge of God.

    Our evangelizing zeal must spring from true holiness of life which is nourished by prayer and above all by a love for the Eucharist.

  3. Through the search for unity: unity must be evident among the followers of Jesus (n. 77). We are urged by Pope Paul VI to make a greater commitment to the effort for Christian unity by coming together on the basis of what we hold in common: our baptism and the faith we all have in Jesus Christ.

  4. Through serving the truth: we are to seek the truth even at the price of personal renunciation and suffering (n. 78).

  5. By being animated by love: it is presupposed that as evangelizers, we are growing in the gift of love for those we are sent to serve (n. 79).

  6. With the fervor of the saints: each one of us is to go forth to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ with the fervor of the great preachers and evangelizers who have gone before us (n. 80). They knew how to overcome the obstacles to evangelization.

Such preparation for the mission of evangelization requires prayer, vigilance, study, service, and community. We must keep our eyes on Jesus. He is our main teacher. And the Book he gives us is the Bible. The Bible is the handbook for all evangelizers.

"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light" (Matthew 11:28-30).

How are we to evangelize today?

There are two ways in which we are to evangelize and both are necessary.

  1. Witness of life: first and foremost, the Gospel must be proclaimed by the witness of one's life; by persons truly living a life according to the values of the Gospel, a life of holiness. All Christians are called to give this witness and in this way, they can be real evangehzers (n. 21).

    Witness of life is a silent proclamation of the Good News, a very powerful and effective one. Nevertheless, this always remains insufficient because even the finest witness will eventually prove to be ineffective if his/her lifestyle is not explained or justified (n. 22)

  2. Explicit proclamation: evangelization must sooner or later be proclaimed by the word of life. There is no true evangelization without the proclamation of the name, the teaching, the life, the promises, the kingdom and the mystery of Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God (n. 22).

What is the NEW evangelization that Pope John Paul II speaks about?

The Holy Father is calling the universal Church to a new evangelization - NEW in its method, expression, and fervor. This new evangelization is to be a new impetus in the Church that would be so dynamic that it would impel those in the Church to reach out and bring Jesus Christ to all men and women throughout the world.

How To Contact Us Back Return To Main Menu