One of the first times that I heard the phrase “the new evangelization” was in John Paul II’s Apostolic letter Novo Millennio Ineunte (at the close of the Great Jubilee of 2000):
Over the years, I have often repeated the summons to the new evangelization. I do so again now, especially in order to insist that we must rekindle in ourselves the impetus of the beginnings and allow ourselves to be filled with the ardour of the apostolic preaching which followed Pentecost. We must revive in ourselves the burning conviction of Paul, who cried out: “Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel” (NMI 40).
It seems to me that the Holy Father was calling us to this new evangelization and that in order to do it effectively, he was giving us a pastoral plan. But today, everyone is speaking about the new evangelization. Pope Benedict created a Pontifical council for the new evangelisation and right here at S+L we’ve even created a whole series, The Church Alive, on the major themes of the new evangelization. But, are we putting all our eggs in the new evangelization basket? Are we making too much of this strategy? Are we too preoccupied with the new evangelisation?