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The Star of the ‘New’ Evanglisation

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The Blessed Virgin Mary is an evangelist in all times, in all cultures.  She was essential to the evangelization of the Americas from the time of the first Christian missionaries who came to these shores.  John Paul II said that “the Most Blessed Virgin is linked in a special way to the birth of the Church in the history … of the peoples of America; through Mary they came to encounter the Lord.”

Today, we are called to the work of a new evangelization—we are called to invite the world into deeper communion with Christ and His Church.  We are called to propose Christ, as if for the very first time, to a culture that has largely lost sight of the Christian sensibilities in which it is rooted. We are called to propose to people an encounter with Christ.

If we wish to be successful evangelists—successful missionaries to a people who need Christ—we need the Blessed Virgin Mary. And in our culture, in our nation, in our communities, and in our families, we need the Virgin of Guadalupe.

As we undertake the work of the new evangelization, we are called to imitate the love of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  There are, in particular, three elements of the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe at the heart of her prophetic witness to the modern world: respect for the poor, commitment to the dignity of life, and evangelization through the power of beauty.

When the Blessed Mother appeared on Tepeyac, she appeared to St. Juan Diego, the Nahuatl Indian who was among the first to be baptized by Franciscan missionaries in Mexico in the early 16th century.  She did not appear to the missionaries themselves, or to Bishop Zummarraga, or to the Indian and Spanish nobility in Mexico.  Instead, the Blessed Virgin Mary entrusted the responsibility of proclaiming her presence to a simple man with no contacts, connections, or influence.  She did so because she saw his dignity, his holiness, and his ability.

The Church calls us to “preferential respect for the poor.”  Above all else, this means respecting the dignity, the capacity, and the call to holiness of the poor—and inviting those experiencing all kinds of poverty to share in the Church’s mission to the world.

When we invite the poor to share in the life and mission of the Church, we witness to the invitation Christ extends to each of us—poor and unworthy ourselves—to share in His mission and in His life.

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“I’m not here to start a career, but because I want to impart a message,” says Sr Cristina – wins 1st place on ‘The Voice’ – Italy

First read about it on the xt3 website:-
Suor Cristina was quick to thank God for her victory and recited an ‘Our Father’ prayer. “I want Jesus to come in here!” 

Her finale competitor tried his luck singing ‘Stairway To Heaven’, but there was no getting past Sister Cristina Scuccia’s habit and crucifix. Suor Cristina was quick to thank God for her victory and recited an ‘Our Father’ prayer. “I want Jesus to come in here!” said the 25-year-old, who was dressed in the black shoes and ankle-length black skirt she has worn throughout the competition. “My presence here is not up to me, it’s thanks to the man upstairs!” said Suor Cristina after winning out against a 28-year-old long-haired hard rocker.

Suor Cristina has won a record contract with Universal but has hinted she doesn’t want a musical career. “I’m not here to start a career, but because I want to impart a message,” she said, adding that she was following Pope Francis’s calls for a Catholic Church that is closer to ordinary people.” The humble nun shot to fame in recent months, with her audition performance of Alicia Keys’s ‘No One in March’ getting more than 50 million views on YouTube.

Suor Cristina has already sung alongside Kylie Minogue and has also received an endorsement from actress Whoopi Goldberg – the star of the 1990s comedy ‘Sister Act’ where she is a singer playing a nun. But Suor Cristina still defined herself as a “humble servant” and ascribed her sudden success to a “thirst for joy” among television viewers.

Quoted article here. 

Sicilian Nun Wows Audience On The Voice. 25-year-old Ursuline Sister Cristina Scuccia auditioned with Alicia Keys'

Sicilian Nun Wows Audience On The Voice. 25-year-old Ursuline Sister Cristina Scuccia auditioned with Alicia Keys’

Singing with Kylie Minogue

Singing with Kylie Minogue

The Holy Father speaks of Holiness.

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Short, sharp, and to the point. New Evangelisation at its best.

I viewed this over at Biltrix and thought it so valuable that it had to be shared at 1catholicsalmon.

‘…all of us are called on to play our part…”

I came across this article in the latest FAITH magazine. It spoke so clearly to me and resounded with my personal sentiments.

(Bold type is my emphasis)

”An Invitation to Evangelise
FAITH Magazine January-February 2013 

Not all of us are called to preach publicly, but all of us are called on to play our part in spreading the Gospel – the “Good News” that Jesus Christ is God with us, that he died to reconcile us to the Father, and that he is risen from the dead and has poured out the Holy Spirit on his chosen ones.

There are many ways we can do this and many different words and examples we can use to get this message across to the world around us. First of all, as fellow believers we remind each other of the good news by talking about our faith together, by encouraging each other to grow in knowledge of our faith and by praying together. 

The Parable of The Sower.

The Parable of The Sower.


Sometimes we may need to explain some point of the Church’s teaching to a fellow Catholic or clear up a misunderstanding. This can happen in casual conversation through ordinary friendships or in a formal setting like a school governors group, and so on. To “counsel the doubtful” is one of the spiritual works of mercy. 

I had been bothered of late, by the lack of  basic knowledge of the Faith during open discussions with Catholics.  The Holy Father in his wisdom certainly understood the need for a Year of Faith. Honestly, when I attended the inauguration of the Year of Faith last year, I was taken aback by the thought (call it naiveté/ lack of awareness , at it’s best)  that Catholics need to be evangelised, brought back into the Fold. This was the catalyst that lit the fuse in me to do ‘my bit.’ 

During prayer groups and casual gatherings, I do not have all the answers, but when someone who is a ‘practising’ Catholic states that,’maybe the devil and God ‘both live in our souls’, I have had to dig deep in order not to blurt out ‘NO OF COURSE NOT!’, and to carefully formulate pertinent questions and statements that could otherwise be misconstrued as critique – in order to change a train of thought an hopefully get the train back on track. I have also noticed that sometimes this kind of speak is tolerated as a ‘person’s right to voice an opinion’. If we do not speak up for about the Faith and what the Church teaches, people are going to think it’s fine to talk gibberish because whatever is said  will be accepted as ‘opinion’. The Good News is not a relative issue. It’s factual and true. There is no room for emotion or feelings, and ‘I think… ‘

For someone who needs a little time to ponder over things in order to formulate a response, I sometimes feel frustrated at not being able to have a full, quick and pertinent retort on the spot. I do my best knowing that I could’ve probably answered more fully. My middle-aged grey matter is also to blame for this I might add. For this reason I’ve made an inquiry to join a workshop given by Catholic Voices , a group that was formed around the time the Holy Father visited England three years ago. Their website is most definitely worth a visit.)

Putting the Church's case in the public square

Putting the Church’s case in the public square

The article goes on to say…

We may be called on to catechise others in the Church, such as children and young people or adults seeking full communion with Christ. This is both an honour and a duty. We are co-workers of the apostles (bishops and priests) in this work, but as lay Catholics we are all equipped and commissioned to speak for Jesus Christ because of our baptism and confirmation.We should always be alert to situations where a Christian influence can be brought to bear on the world around us. (Like when someone makes casual remarks about the Mass, that may just be off the mark.) 

The Road to Emmaus. Do others recognise Jesus in us, walking alongside them in day to day life?

The Road to Emmaus. Do others recognise Jesus in us, walking alongside them in day to day life?

Of course it is best not to do this in a sanctimonious or “churchy” way. But if we have built genuine relationships of trust and respect, and offered honest friendship to those around us, then with the help of the Holy Spirit, we will find the right words to say when the opportunity arises.

It may be a matter of dropping a thought provoking comment into a conversation which helps people to see beyond the secular view. (In order to do this, we need to be up to date with the news around us.) Or it may be that we quietly invite someone to a spiritual event (It might be an invitation to come to Mass, to come back to Sacraments of the Church or to some other Catholic devotion, to talk with a priest or spiritual advisor, to read a book, to listen to a lecture, to assist in some ministry, to pray together or to attend a parish social event) or gathering introducing them to the Catholic community – and ultimately introducing them to Jesus Christ.

 

There may also be times when we are called on to speak up in public or private situations where misunderstandings or misconceptions about the Catholic faith are being repeated. (It can be a little trickier of course, when the comments are made within a group of strangers,but I think it’s can be even more so within a family setting. This is why I’m leaning toward some professional apologetics teaching, so that I may in future be confidently prepared to answer  questions of the day regarding Christianity and the Church.) We may have to bear witness to human moral principles, ( I do believe this to be the most important one of all. Our actions show what we’re all about.We can tell others how the Holy Spirit has worked in our lives. We can also share our faith through actions that demonstrate the ways in which we try to live authentically the Gospel Message.) which are being undermined in politics, writing to the press or lobbying parliament.

We have to use our skills and influence in the world to protect the common good and promote an authentic Christian society.”

I want to be a true disciples of Christ. Evangelisation today is needed more than ever!

On fire in the Year of Faith!

Image@cyber-missionary@facebook.com

A taster of what to expect from Fr. Barron’s series.