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

  My Witness

Vol. 4, No. 2, April, 1999

Conversion, Proclamation, Community
by Sr. Angeline Bukowiecki, S.N.C.

Sister Angeline Our vision is for renewing the Church! The vision of Pope John Paul II, given in his Encyclical, Mission of the Redeemer, is our vision. He spells it out in the following way.

In number 86 of Mission of the Redeemer, he says: "God is preparing a new springtime for the Gospel . . . and we can already see its first signs." In number 3, paragraph 4, he says: "I sense that the moment has come to commit all of the Church's energies to a new evangelization and to the mission ad gentes. No believer in Christ, no institution of the Church can avoid this supreme duty: to proclaim Christ to all peoples." Then in number 92, the rest of his vision becomes complete: "I see the dawning of a new missionary age, which will become a radiant day bearing an abundant harvest, if all christians . . . respond with generosity and holiness to the calls and challenges of our time."

"I sense the moment has come. . . " says the Holy Father. The Holy Father is giving a discernment. To sense is an inner intuition, a discernment. He says we are "to comit all of the Church's energies." He wants a decision to move to a new evangelization. Evangelization is a supreme duty, the topmost dusty of the believer. Every believer, every institution has to be mobilized.

Pope John Paul II speaks of a new evangelization that is new in fervor (zeal), expression, and new in methods. New in fervor: helps you to draw out your plan, your principles (done in tranquility). New in expression: refers to the various strategies you can use. New in methods: the means that can be used. These can change from time to time according to the place we are in.

This is the vision of Pope John Paul II and it is filled with hope! And it is our vision. This vision leaves the Pope "even more committed to a new missionary advent" (#86) and it leaves us "even more committed to a new missionary advent" as well. This creates in us a desire to seek practical wisdom and discernment in how to rouse our people to action.

All members in the Church are called to carry out the supreme task of proclaiming Jesus Christ as the only Answer, the absolute and definitive Answer to the brokenness of every man and women, every child in the world. We must be dynamically training our Catholic people to evangelize. This is exactly what the Pope is saying, when he says in Mission of the Redeemer, number 86, paragraph 3:

"As she prepares to celebrate the Jubilee of the year 2000, the whole Church is ever more committed to a new missionary advent. We must increase our apostolic zeal to pass on to others the light and joy of the faith. To this high ideal the whole People of God must be educated."

Every Christian, every Catholic, has the God?given task of becoming a successful evangelizer. Therefore, someone must play the role of putting the needed skills and tools of evangelization into their hands. That is our role as a training center.

Why is training in evangelization such a powerful tool in the hands of the Holy Spirit for the renewal of the Church? Because there are three goals that such training accomplishes. The three distinctive and necessary goals of all training in evangelization are: Conversion, Proclamation, and Community.

This conclusion is drawn first of all from the Scriptures, particularly the second chapter of the Book of the Acts of the Apostles, and, from a careful study of Pope Paul VI's Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelization in the Modern World, numbersl824; and Pope John Paul II's Encyclical, Mission of the Redeemer, particularly numbers 13-18 and 24-27.


The first distinctive goal of training in evangelization is conversion. All training in evangelization is committed to training candidates in the task of direct and explicit evangelization so that those they initially evangelize are brought to a profound, conversion experience, resulting in a personal relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ (cf. EN, #18), which must then be nurtured and fosted by the parish community.

Metanoia, the radical conversion and profound change of mind and heart that is the goal of all evangelization must first be experienced by the evangelizer himself/herself (cf EN, #18).

So, the first goal of all training in evangelization is conversion.


The second distinctive goal of training in evangelization is to prepare trainees for the explicit proclamation of the Good News, the 'kerygma'. In the second chapter of the Book of the Acts of the Apostles, we see that the apostles' conversion experience radically transformed them from scared men (Matthew 26:56b; Mk. 14:50) into bold, courageous men (Acts 2:14ff; 4:13, 18-20). And the result of their conversion experience was the proclamation of the Good News without fear (Acts 1:14-26).

So, too, when anyone undergoes conversion and discovers a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, that person is impelled to talk about it and to share it with others, just as the apostles did. As St. Peter says in the fourth chapter of the Book of the Acts of the Apostles, verses 18-20: So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered them, "Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge; for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard." The history of the Catholic Church witnesses to this in its innumerable missionaries who paid the ultimate price of giving their very lives to proclaim Jesus Christ.

The trainee in evangelization must be given a serious preparation in how to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ. The distinguishing characteristic of training in evangelization is that the first emphasis is on 'kerygma'--

the explicit proclamation of the Good News of Jesus Christ as the only Lord and Savior of all men and women.

All those involved in schools of evangelization maintain that all evangelization contains as foundation, centre and summit of its dynamism: the KERYGMA, the PROCLAMATION of the the Good News of Jesus Christ.

So, the second goal of all training in evangelization is proclamation.


A third goal of training in evangelization is community. Pope Paul VI in his Evangelization in the Modern World, number 23, states that " . . . the proclamation [of the Good News] only reaches full development when it is listened to, accepted and assimilated, and when it arouses a genuine adherence in the one who has thus received it." This adherence is "to the new manner of being, of living, of living in community, which the Gospel inaugurates" (See: Acts 2:43-47).

In all schools of evangelization, a great emphasis must be placed on the building of Christian communities, both family and parish:

  • where ongoing evangelistic follow-up can take place for those who have been initially evangelized;

  • where people can meet together at fixed times to:

    • pray over the Scriptures together,

    • share their love for Jesus,

    • intercede for the needs of others,

    • help one another when difficulties arise,

    • feast together,

    • mourn together,

just like the early Christians did in the Book of the Acts of the Apostles.

Those initially evangelized are incorporated into the Catholic Church. Therefore, there is the need for small Christian communities where people can experience a caring, bearing, sharing community within the parish, a sense of belonging, where the Scriptures can be brought to the grassroots level.

This process of training in evangelization: conversion, proclamation, community can clearly be seen in the Book of the Acts of the Apostles:

  • The apostles undergo conversion with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit;

  • The result of their conversion experience was the proclamation of the Good News without fear;

And the training process repeats itself, as our people are trained as evangelizers to reach out and evangelize the unchurched and the alienated/inactive and reevangelize the active Catholic.

This is the thrust of our own parish evangelization process called ACTS II: Conversion, Proclamation, Community.

Training in evangelization is the greatest need of the Church, putting the 'kerygma' back into the place where it should be, into the hands of every believer. The ' faith-crisis' that is often spoken about in the Church is really a 'kerygma crisis'. We have a lot of catechesis and theology but the 'kerygma' is missing.

How To Contact Us Back Return To Main Menu