The USCCB document “Go and Make Disciples: A National Plan and Strategy for Catholic Evangelization in the United States” provides an excellent definition of Catholic evangelization. Rephrasing some words of Pope Paul VI in Evangelii Nuntiandi, this document states:
“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.”(#10-11)
Following this definition, we have the vision of evangelization for the Diocese of Camden rooted in the words of Bishop Galante: “Evangelization is not a program. It is to bring people into a relationship with Jesus” (Lifelong Faith Formation Director’s Meeting — September 17, 2009). We see evangelization as a continuous three-step process. We are invited to live this process and incorporate new parish members into this experience:
- Discovering Jesus through a personal encounter with him.
- Following Jesus, becoming his disciple.
- Proclaiming the Good News is to be a witness of Jesus.