Tuesday, June 19, 2012

New Evangelization

Bishop Nickless's pastoral letter talks rather a lot about evangelization.  It's one of the five priorities he's pointing us to, and it's one that connects deeply with our diaconal vocation (proclaiming the Gospel to all, especially by joining Word and deed), and also with our family vocation as husbands and fathers (teaching the faith by word and example to family and neighbor). Catechesis, evangelization, and apologetics all go hand in hand in our likely fields of ministry.

St. Romuald was, in his day, a great and stirring example of exactly that.  His asceticism, his attractive preaching, and his zeal converted a great many, and attracted many to monastic life.  We can learn from him, of course, as from all the saints, but we suspect that, since our own culture despises Christian asceticism (although it doesn't despise Eastern asceticism - go figure that one), the example of a St. Romuald today wouldn't be nearly as attractive.

What is attractive today?  Obviously something is still working: here's an inspiring glimpse of what a fairly vigorous commitment to joyful evangelization looks like to six millennial Catholics.  And here's a fascinating interview with Austen Ivereigh, who founded a group of lay evangelists (and apologists) in England in 2010, coinciding with the Pope's visit, called "Catholic Voices," which is beginning to spread to the US as well. 

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