Diocese of Joliet

Home » Office of the Bishop » Diocesan Pastoral Council  » Pastoral Planning Committee » Defining the Pillars - Evangelization

Pastoral Planning Committee

Pastoral Planning Committee - Home
Executive Summary
Framework for Pastoral Action
Marco para la Accion Pastoral
Parish Consultants
Sample Documents

(back to Table of Contents)

Defining the Pillars - Evangelization

Catholic evangelization can be described simply as “sharing our joy.” As Pope Francis explains, “. . . It would be wrong to see our evangelization efforts as a heroic individual undertaking, for it is first and foremost the Lord’s work.  Jesus is the first and greatest evangelizer. In every activity of evangelization, the primacy always belongs to God, who has called us to cooperate with Him and who leads us on by the power of His Spirit.”

While we may feel unprepared and inadequate to be evangelizers, the pope observes, “All of us are called to maturein our work as evangelizers. We all want to have better training, a deepening love and a clearer witness to the Gospel. In this sense, we ought to let others be constantly evangelizing us. But this does not mean that we should postpone the evangelizing mission; rather, each of us should find ways to communicate Jesus wherever we are.”

Most importantly, “instead of our efforts seeming to impose new obligations, we should appear as people who wish to share their joy, who point to a horizon of beauty and who invite others to a delicious banquet. It is not by proselytizing that the Church grows, but ‘by attraction.’ ”

We invite; we welcome; we listen; we embrace, and as the pope explains, we must reach out: “We cannot passivelyand calmly wait in our church buildings; we need to move from a pastoral ministry to a decidedly missionary ministry.”