The last several months, the phrase "The New Evangelization" has come up in many different spheres here in our Salt + Light office. I cannot comprehensively cover all the ins and outs of our efforts on this - as this is in some sense what we do everyday! What I will say is that this "mission" has become truly big time for us with a renewed focus. In short, "The New Evangelization" is something to be really excited about, and Salt + Light has big things in store under this vision (for example: The Church Alive Series
and our documentary on St. Kateri Tekakwitha)
These two words were brought together by Pope Paul VI in Evangelii Nuntiandi
and continued by John Paul II in Redemptoris Missio
. I believe that these words were very close to the heart our late Holy Father John Paul II. Here at Salt + Light we not only cherish what he gave us in his life and Pontificate, but we have the great privilege of making and carrying out his mission. The term "New Evanglization" is a broad term and can mean many different things. Our focus is its primary meaning: to bring the Light of Christ to the world in this day and culture in a way that can be understood.
When our Lord walked among us, he spoke in parables, stories; stories assembled with common elements that the people of his time could understand. He spoke of sheep, fields, wine skins, lamps, bread and yeast. His message was tangible, concrete. Not particularly for the learned, but for fisherman, peasants, children, the sick and ignorant. I think the challenge of evangelization today is threefold:
- To be understandable
- Our message to be practical for those who know nothing about us
- Living in the presence of God
We must always faithfully present the challenges of who we are called to be. So how is this best done? As a friend to a friend! Its not really ideas that change hearts, it's through personal friendship and example. It's never about pointing out faults, ideologies, or "shoulds" and "shouldn'ts" - it's about reminding each other of the greatness of who we are called to be! In many ways we need to demonstrate what true friendship is, so that others can say, "behold how they love one another!" It's not a show, it's us living our life to the fullest in Christ. It's us being a Church that is alive!
My team and I in marketing, are always in the process of developing and refining our presence in the digital sphere. The Church is a community and our work is really to give people access to this community - to make our Catholic (universal) connectedness all the more real and vivid in our day to day lives. We need to tap in deeper to the wealth of the second Vatican council and the silent labour of prayer. And I hope, by what happens to us individually in prayer, its effects will begin to seep into the hearts of all those around us. To be, as Our Lord said: a "Light to the world, for all to see!"
Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation