Poland Hosts New Evangelization Conference

Some 1,200 Representatives of Communities, Movements and Groups Gather at Kostrzyn

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By Father Mariusz Frukacz

KOSTRZYN, AUG. 1, 2012 (Zenit.org).- More than 1,200 people representing 350 communities, movements and groups for the new evangelization, took part in the 1st Congress of the New Evangelization held in Kostrzyn, Poland, from July 28-31.

Among those present were Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization; Archbishop Jozef Michalik, president of Poland’s episcopal conference, and Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz, metropolitan of Warsaw.

Also present were Bishop Edward Dajczak of the Diocese of Koszalin-Kolobrzeg; Bishop Grzegorz Rys, president of the Group for the New Evangelization of the Polish episcopal conference, and Bishop Andrzej Czaja of Opole.

The event opened with a Mass presided over Archbishop Fisichella. “We have a great call to preach the Gospel to modern man. We need to find meaning for all that we do,” said the archbishop in his homily.

During the conference, the president of the evangelization dicastery gave a talk on “What Is the New Evangelization and What Does It Mean for the Church?” In the course of his talk, the archbishop exhorted those present “to renew the proclamation of Jesus Christ, the mystery of his death and resurrection” and “to resuscitate faith in Him through a change of life.”

“The Church exists to take the Gospel to every person, regardless of their location,” stressed Archbishop Fisichella. “Jesus’ command is so transparent that it does not allow for any sort of misunderstanding or excuse. Those who believe in his word are sent on the roads of the world to proclaim the promise of salvation.”

“The New Evangelization cannot be carried out without new evangelizers,” concluded the archbishop. Hence, to be an evangelizer is a necessary call to ensure “that all are able to hear the Gospel of Jesus, to believe in Him and to invoke His name.”

The new evangelization is a call not only for priests. A “particular role” will be that of “persons who live the experience of faith in parishes, associations and movements,” said Archbishop Fisichella.

His talk was followed by that of Bishop Rys, who said that “the new evangelization is not a survival strategy,” but a necessity in as much as it is “always necessary to share the faith with others.”

Father Artur Godnarski, secretary of the Group for the New Evangelization, added, “The Church is faced today with a great challenge: to encourage people who go to church to ensure the sharing of their experience of the faith with people who don’t practice it.”

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