A Giant Is Awakening

New Evangelization Flows Out of Rome

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By Antonio Gaspari

ROME, OCT. 18, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Thirty-three representatives of episcopal conferences, 400 representatives of 115 ecclesial groups committed to evangelization, 10,000 young people ready to carry out the mission: These are numbers revealing an army of new evangelizers who have responded to an appeal from the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization.

Last Saturday morning, Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, president of the recently established Vatican dicastery, led a gathering of «new evangelizers committed to the new evangelization.» The group met with the Pope on Saturday and he celebrated Mass for them Sunday morning.

Archbishop Fisichella spoke with them about secularization, explaining how this trend, along with a relative weakening of the faith, has confused mankind and caused a true anthropological crisis.

The prelate proposed that this phenomenon has affected important parts of the clergy and of the Catholic Church. Hence the need for a new evangelization, both within as well as outside the Church.

«The marginalization of God has brought disorientation in personal identity,» Archbishop Fisichella said, and «indifference and ignorance in regard to the essential contents of the doctrine.»

«Many, mistakenly, have thought that an explicit proclamation [of the Gospel] is no longer necessary,» he observed, «and that personal testimony is the only tool of the new evangelization.»


Archbishop Fisichella affirmed that «it is time to open the doors and to proclaim again the Resurrection of Christ, of which we are witnesses.»

The Vatican prelate said that witness entails an explicit proclamation of why one chooses to live by following Christ.

He said that the New Evangelization dicastery is focusing on areas including liturgy, the sacrament of confession, the Eucharist, family, culture, political and civil commitment, immigration and communication.


Representatives of the new evangelizers expressed their enthusiasm for the appeal.

Kiko Argüello, initiator and representative of the Neo-Catechumenal Way, pointed out how families are carrying out an immense role in the new evangelization.

Argüello explained how he has sent catechists and presbyters to places where the faith was disappearing and they were rejected. He then sent families, and they worked a miracle: not only were they not rejected but they brought about conversions and the transmission of the faith with incredible results.

Julian Carrón, of Communion and Liberation, explained that faith molds and enriches culture.

If faith is lacking, culture does not develop, he specified, and faith is real and influences the history of a people only when it becomes culture.

On the phenomenon of immigration, Adriano Roccucci of the Sant’Egidio Community, called for a response in charity, «which is the first Gospel message.»

Don Gigi Perini, a parish priest of Milan and the creator of «evangelization cells,» recalled the words of Blessed John Henry Newman.

«It is necessary that the sleeping giant, which is the parish, awake!» he said. «A dynamic parish, charged with the love of God, which fascinates its faithful and challenges them to evangelization, is possible.»

Franco Miano, of Italian Catholic Action, made an appeal to unity, while Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., suggested a need to «evangelize the evangelizers.»

Finally, Salvatore Martinez of Renewal in the Spirit suggested the formation of «new men in Christ, able to make new politics to liberate our time from the multiplication of structures of sin.»

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