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  My Witness

Vol. 1, No. 3, July, 1996

What is Evangelization?
by Sr. Angeline Bukowiecki, S.N.C.

Sister Angeline Dear Friends,

We might ask ourselves: "What is evangelization?" There are many definitions that can be given. Some have defined it as follows: To be so filled with Christ that you just have to share him with others. To share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Or "Evangelization is sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ under the power of the Holy Spirit, not only through our lips. but also through our lives, so that others are drawn to accept Jesus Christ as Lord, and to serve him as Lord in the community of the Church." Pope Paul VI tells us that the Good News proclaimed by the witness of life sooner or later has to be proclaimed by the word of life and that "all Christians are called to this witness . . ."

The majority of our Catholic laity do not feel comfortable with their call to become evangelizers. to become people who having experienced the Good News of Jesus Christ. are now compelled to share him with those who really do not know him. That is the reason for our bringing into existence our Catholic Evangelization Training Center: to help our Catholic people accept the challenge of evangelization and to follow through on the invitation of the Council Fathers of Vatican II: "Since the whole Church is missionary, and the work of evangelization the fundamental task of the people of God, this Sacred Synod invites all to undertake a profound interior renewal so that being vitally conscious of their responsibility for the spread of the Gospel they might play their part in missionary work among the nations." (Decree on the Church's Missionary Activity. #35) It is our privilege as Church, the concrete visible expression of Jesus in our world today, to continue the mission of Jesus who proclaims the Good News of God's Kingdom. This Good News springs out of the Christian community where the Risen Lord continues to announce, through you and I, the message of the Father's love for all men and women.

Pope Paul VI in his document Evangelic Nuntiandi (Apostolic Exhortation on Evangelization in the Modern World, 1975) states that evangelization is that "activity whereby the Church proclaims the Gospel so that faith may be aroused, may unfold, & may grow."

Evangelization then is that ongoing process within the Christian community that seeks to draw people evermore deeply into a personal relationship with Jesus so that they might know more fully the forgiving, healing love of the Father that has been given to us in Jesus' death and resurrection. It is through this ever growing life of Jesus within us that we come to know the Father's love more fully and the tremendous gift of His very own Spirit that He has given us to live this life of forgiving, healing love.

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