The Church Exists to Evangelize!

Mrs. Joanne Chafe, director of the National Office of Religious Education for the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops led Putting Out Into the Deep! participants in a dynamic, meaningful, and challenging reflection on the call to evangelize. Building on the insight that the Church exists to evangelize, Joanne used vital perspectives from Paul VIs letter Evangelii Nuntiandi, as well as orientations and approaches outlined in The General Directory for Catechesis, to help participants reflect deeply on this call to bring good news to all.

Joanne emphasized that the orientation of evangelization in the catholic church is not one that seeks to make everyone the same. Rather, it is rooted in a desire to share the person of Jesus Christ who announced himself as good news for all. Evangelization needs to be grounded in deep respect for the person, aware of and sensitive to the soil of the other, and wise and discerning about when to speak and when to be silent.

Three stages of evangelization were highlighted: The missionary stage; the catechetical stage; the pastoral stage. Joanne emphasized the importance of engaging with people at the appropriate stage with the appropriate orientations and means. This points to the need in the church for well formed catechists who are able to lead these processes, and for the entire Christian community, pastoral leaders and all the baptised together, to be well formed for this important call.

Mrs. Joanne Chafe gave a dynamic, challenging and informative presentation

Participants engage in meaningful dialogue with Joanne Chafe, presenter

It is a dream of Archbishop Gervais' for the Archdiocese, that people engage in formation of an adult faith.

A highlight of the day was a special welcome from Archbishop Gervais following Morning Prayer at the opening of the session. He warmly welcomed all of the participants, who represent more than 24 of our English language parishes from across the diocese, and some of our national communities as well. He emphasized how vital it is for all to grow as adults in faith who are able to be authentic witnesses in our time. This adult faith formation process has been a dream of his for a long time, and he is delighted to see the people participating. He was given two very appreciative standing ovations!

Our next session will take place on Saturday, December 9th, 2006 when Carol Kuzmochka, diocesan coordinator of adult faith development and leadership formation, will lead a response to the question, What it means to be a catholic in the world today? from the perspective of what is a catholic identity, Annmarie Brown, (613)738-5025 (x217) or [email protected] to register. All are welcome!

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