"This is a new moment in the life of the Church, a new Pentecost. It's our turn now, to share the great gift we have been given, the gift of our Catholic faith, and renew the face of the earth," said Cardinal Donald Wuerl.
Last October, 250 bishops from all over the world were called to Rome by Pope Benedict XVI to discuss it, define it, and determine what it really means to Catholics today. In an exclusive firsthand summary of the three-week Synod, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to be relator-general of the synod, provides a succinct, specific and tactical roadmap for where Catholics and parishes and dioceses go from here in his upcoming book, "New Evangelization: Passing on the Catholic Faith Today."
The following is an excerpt from the preface of the book:
As I took my aisle seat on the plane, the woman in the window seat turned and introduced herself and seeing my Roman collar said, "Have you been born again?" "Yes," I responded and she immediately asked, "When?"
I said, "In baptism. And I have been trying to grow into that new life ever since." "Oh," she said, "You’re Catholic," which led her to another question and the beginning of a conversation that lasted the entire flight. She noted as Catholics we are "big on this Church thing." She recognized this was a major difference between us. Then, she showed me her small prayer book that had in it a number of quotations from the New Testament reminding us that we have received new life in Christ and asked, "Tell me about this Church thing that is so important to you."
We began with Matthew’s Gospel and Peter’s confession about Jesus that led to Jesus’ announcement "You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church" (Mt 16:18).
As the conversation unfolded and she raised a number of significant questions, we talked about Jesus establishing his new Body, the Church, how we are all invited into the family of God, how the Apostles continue today in the person of bishops to lead the Church and how the work of Saint Peter is carried on today by the Bishop of Rome, the Pope.
As we landed and were taxiing up to the gate, the man in the aisle seat directly across from me leaned over and said, "Father, I couldn't help but hear this conversation. I'm Catholic and I didn't know all of that."Throughout the book, Cardinal Wuerl shares his own personal faith experiences like this one, giving insight into the new evangelization. He also provides personal and group reflection questions at the end of every chapter, helping you learn about the new evangelization. Topics include:
- What's the point? The three most important priorities of the new evangelization
- What am I up against? The three 'isms' that get in the way of sharing and growing the Faith
- What do I do? How to galvanize people around one simple truth of the Gospel message
- Where it all began: the four theological foundations of the new evangelization
- Learning from the best: the four characteristics of great evangelizers
Cardinal Wuerl's "New Evangelization" will be released on Jan. 16. You can find more information here.