Julie V. Burkey, D.Min., presented a lecture on the topic of the New Evangelization to the Diocese of Paterson permanent diaconate candidates and their wives at St. Paul Inside the Walls, Madison on Saturday April 14, 2012.
Dr. Burkey discussed that the idea of evangelization is not a new one. It is, in fact, grounded in the concepts of mission and sending, as found in both the Old and New Testaments, and, historically, evangelization has always been the primary activity of the Church. The various documents, including those of Vatican II, as well as Pope Paul VI’s Evangelii Nuntiandi, speak to evangelization as the “essential mission of the Church,” and the Church’s “deepest identity.”
The second half of the lecture focused on importance of evangelization in our parishes and how evangelization can be implemented in various programs and ministries. It was stressed that evangelization is not effective when considered a single program, but needs to be integrated into the life and ministries of the parish.
Finally, the idea of the New Evangelization, specifically, a “re-evangelization” directed at practicing Catholics, as well as those not baptized into the Catholic Church, was discussed. Pope Benedict XVI gives much hope for this movement in our Church with the newly-established Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization of which the first synod is scheduled for October of this year.