Diocese of Ogdensburg

The Roman Catholic Church in Northern New York

On Evangelization in the Modern WorldIn 1975, Pope Paul VI promulgated the document Evangelii Nuntiandi (On Evangelization in the Modern World).  He stated: "Evangelizing is in fact the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity.  She exists in order to evangelize."  In 1992, the Bishops of the United States set forth for the parishes the document Go and Make Disciples: A Plan and Strategy for Catholic Evangelization in the United States. The Bishops emphasized the need and duty of every Catholic to be an evangelizer in their everyday life, family life, parish community, and local, diocesan and
national organizations.

Go and Make DisciplesThe Parish is the privileged place for evangelization to take place. In order to implement the plan, the bishops call all parishes to:

  • Examine all activities in light of evangelization
  • Consider how to give their present ministries a clearer evangelizing focus
  • Create new ministries to achieve the goals of the Evangelization document
  • Develop an evangelization team or use an existing committee to help the whole parish evangelize
  • Designate a trained person as a coordinator of evangelization (#136)

The parish should look to three groups as they plan to evangelize:

  • The practicing Catholic: These are our faithful Catholics who come to Mass every Sunday and are involved in many of the parish activities.  It is at these Catholics that the first goal of Go and Make Disciples is aimed: To bring about in all Catholics such an enthusiasm for their faith that, in living their faith in Jesus, they freely share it with others;
  • The Inactive Catholic: Those who have, for whatever reason, stopped practicing or have drifted away
  • Those who do not yet know the love of Christ, do not believe, or find faith irrelevant to their daily lives.

The Office of Evangelization offers support to parishes in proclaiming the Gospel.  The goal is to make every parish family alive and vibrant faith communities. Therefore, the Office of the New Evangelization will:

  • Offer workshops on evangelization, home visitation, reaching out to inactive Catholics, small Christian communities, discipleship and other topic relating to the three goals in the document (strengthening the faith of the active Catholic, reaching out to the un-churched and fostering gospel values in society and family)
  • Provide consultation to pastors and staff
  • Help develop and train parish evangelization teams
  • Recommend evangelization resources

"The parish, in and through all of its activities, should animate its members to become agents of the New Evangelization, witnessing through both their words and their lives. For this reason, it is important to remember that the parish remains the usual environment for the spiritual life of the parishioners." (from Prop 44, Synod for the New Evangelization).