Pope Benedict has called for a “new evangelisation.” This call is often misunderstood. We think that the pope is asking for a renewed effort to ‘spread the good news’ to those who have not yet heard of Christ. While such an evangelisation is always necessary, the pope is being a bit more specific when he makes this call for a ‘new evangelisation.’
I often think that people of my age (50) were the last to receive some sound catechesis from parents and at Catholic School. Anyone younger than me at a Catholic School had only a programme of ‘christian living’ rather than ‘Catholic Doctrine.’
The pope’s call for a new evangelisation is aimed primarily at those who may have been baptised as Catholic, and even raised with some knowledge of Catholic faith and life, but who have later drifted away from life as a Catholic.
I have a particular passion for this project since I fear that if I did not have a sound introduction to Catholic doctrine, I may well now be walking the beach and savouring brunch on Sunday mornings with no contact with the Church.
Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy both brunch and beach walking, but the reason I really enjoy these, is that my life has a bigger focus: love of the one who made the beach and the ingredients for brunch.
I realise how easily I could have missed out on experiencing Catholic faith as a life that makes it possible for me to truly live rather than simply survive or exist or endure.
Alongside Pope Benedict’s call for this new evangelisation, is his encouragement for us to use every tool of technology in this process of new evangelisation.