Parish Social Ministry Institute Susan Stevenot Sullivan Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development United States

Conference of Catholic Bishops

Photos by S.S. Sullivan, all rights reserved 2012

The New Evangelization

Find one person you don’t know and share an example of how this kind of aha! moment has happened to you.
(10 minutes total, 5 minutes each?)

Jesus replied, “This is the first: Listen Israel, the Lord our God is the one Lord, and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: You must love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-32)

Pope Francis: “It is from contemplation, from a strong friendship with the Lord that the capacity is born in us to live and to bring the love of God, his mercy, his tenderness, to others. And also our work with brothers in need, our charitable works of mercy, lead us to the Lord, because it is in the needy brother and sister that we see the Lord himself.”

“. . . Love of neighbor is a path that leads to the encounter with God, and that closing our eyes to our neighbor also blinds us to God.”
(Deus Caritas Est,16)

Pope Francis: “In this “stepping out” it is important to be ready for encounter. For me this word is very important. Encounter with others. Why? Because faith is an encounter with Jesus, and we must do what Jesus does: encounter others. . . with our faith we must create a “culture of encounter”, a culture of friendship, a culture in which we find brothers and sisters, in which we can also speak with those who think differently, as well as those who hold other beliefs, who do not have the same faith. They all have something in common with us: they are images of God, they are children of God. Going out to meet everyone, without losing sight of our own position.”

“Let me tell you what I hope will be the outcome of World Youth Day: I hope there will be noise. . . I want you to make yourselves heard in your dioceses, I want the noise to go out, I want the Church to go out onto the streets, I want us to resist everything worldly, everything static, everything comfortable, everything to do with clericalism, everything that might make us closed in on ourselves. The parishes, the schools, the institutions are made for going out ... if they don’t, they become an NGO, and the Church cannot be an NGO. May the bishops and priests forgive me if some of you create a bit of confusion afterwards. . . . Thanks for whatever you can do.”
(Pope’s address to young people of Argentina, 7/25/13)

“This love, with Jesus’ own measure of complete gift of self, besides being the distinguishing feature of each Christian, cannot but be the characteristic of his Church, disciple-community of Christ, whose witness of fraternal charity will be its first and primary proclamation, ‘this is how all will know that you are my disciples’ (John 13:35).” (Aparecida, 138)

“The links between justice and evangelization are strong and vital. We cannot proclaim a Gospel we do not live, and we cannot carry out a real social ministry without knowing the Lord and hearing his call to justice and peace. Parish communities must show by their deeds of love and justice that the Gospel they proclaim is fulfilled in their actions.”
(Communities of Salt and Light [CSL], p. 5.)

“Charity, furthermore, cannot be used as a means of engaging in what is nowadays considered proselytism. Love is free; it is not practiced as a way of achieving other ends. But this does not mean that charitable activity must somehow leave God and Christ aside. For it is always concerned with the whole man.”
(Deus Caritas Est [DCE], 31)

Pope Francis: “We ask only one thing: that you reach out! And that you go and seek out and encounter the most needy! Does this mean going to convince someone to become became Catholic? No, no, no! You are just reaching out to meet him, he is your brother! That is enough. You reach out to help them, the rest is done by Jesus, by the Holy Spirit.”

“The new evangelization calls every member of the Church to make his or her life a proclamation of the Good News of Jesus Christ.”
(Archbishop Robert Carlson, “The Deacon as an Instrument of Charity,” 2001)

“We see the parish dimensions of social ministry not as an added burden, but as part of what keeps a parish alive and truly Catholic. Effective social ministry helps the parish not only do more, but be more – more of a reflection of the Gospel, more of a worshiping and evangelizing people, more of a faithful community. It is an essential part of parish life. ..” (CSL Intro)

“…. We are called to be the ‘salt of the earth’ and ‘light of the world’ in the words of the Scriptures (MT 5:13-16) This task belongs to every believer and every parish. It cannot be assigned to a few or simply delegated to diocesan or national structures. The pursuit of justice and peace is an essential part of what makes a parish Catholic.”
(CSL Intro)

Pope Francis: “Jesus did not say: “One of you go”, but “All of you go”: we are sent together. Dear young friends, be aware of the companionship of the whole Church and also the communion of the saints on this mission. . . . . Jesus did not call the Apostles to live in isolation; he called them to form a group, a community.”
(7/28/13, World Youth Day)

“Love of neighbor, grounded in the love of God, is first and foremost a responsibility for each individual member of the faithful, but it is also a responsibility for the entire ecclesial community at every level: from the local community to the particular Church and to the Church universal in its entirety. As a community, the Church must practice love. Love thus needs to be organized if it is to be an ordered service to the community.”
(DCE, 20)

“Charity is at the heart of the Church’s social doctrine. . . It gives real substance to the personal relationship with God and with neighbor; it is the principle not only of micro-relationships (with friends, with family members, or within small groups) but also of macro-relationships (social, economic, and political ones. For the Church, instructed by the Gospel, charity is everything . . .everything has its origin in God’s love, everything is shaped by it, everything is directed towards it.”
(Caritas In Veritate, 2)


“Practical activity will always be insufficient, unless it visibly expresses a love for man, a love nourished by an encounter with Christ. My deep, personal sharing in the needs and sufferings of others becomes a sharing of my very self with them: if my gift is not to prove a source of humiliation, I must give to others not only something that is my own, but my very self; I must be personally present in my gift.”
(DCE, 34)

Take 20 minutes: 1.How can we enhance the ‘relationship – mutual transformation – evangelization by witness’ framework of our charitable works and social justice work? 2.Where is a good place to start in your parish/diocese? 3.How can we get others involved?

“Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words.”
St. Francis of Assisi


Garden of Gethsemane, Jerusalem

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