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The Parish: Neighborhood of the New Evangelization


What Is the New Evangelization?

Christ came to bring hope, peace, and salvation to the world. As baptized Catholics, we are all called to share Christ in our daily life. The New Evangelization is realized through announcing the Good News to those who have never heard of Christ (called missio ad gentes, the mission to the nations), engaging in ongoing catechesis, and “re-proposing” the Gospel to those who, although baptized, have drifted away from the Church.A woman receives the Eucharist.

By deepening our relationship with Christ and experiencing his love, we renew our faith as disciples in a community of believers, grow in confidence in the truth of the Gospel, and then share our faith in Jesus Christ joyfully with others. The New Evangelization invites all Catholics to see the world as an opportunity to bring people to Christ and to grow closer to Christ themselves.

The parish is the neighborhood of the New Evangelization, since it is where the faith is passed down, lived, and sustained for all members of the Body of Christ.

The Parish and the New Evangelization

Evangelization is rooted in the parish. It is in the parish that one becomes engaged with the Church community, learns how to become a disciple of Christ, is nurtured by Scripture, is nourished by the sacraments, and ultimately becomes an evangelizer. And remember, an evangelizer is a disciple who shares the faith! Order copies of this pamphlet.

A priest leads a congregation at Mass. USCCB photo by Maria Pope.Besides the family, the parish is the typical first point of contact for Catholics seeking to deepen their faith. This is especially true for Catholics who have been away from the Church and are seeking to return. Therefore, “it is the responsibility of the parish community and its leadership to ensure that the faith it teaches, preaches, and celebrates is alive and that it is a true sign, for all who come in contact with it, that this truly is the living Body of Christ” (National Directory for Catechesis [Washington, DC, USCCB, 2006], no. 29.C).

Your parish is a great place to learn more about the faith and become engaged in the local Church. Contact your local parish to get involved (find your local parish at or ask your family and friends where to start!

What Can You Do in Your Parish to Foster the New Evangelization?

Every baptized person is called to be a disciple of Christ and proclaim the Gospel. While this task may seem daunting, the Church—through the sacraments—provides us with the grace and resources necessary to be evangelizers in our local communities. And remember, living the everyday moments of our lives with faith, hope, and love is the most effective way to share our faith with others. This witness is what is needed in our parishes in order to reach our families, friends, neighbors, and colleagues.

Here are some concrete practices that anyone can use in their parishes to foster the New Evangelization:

  • Pray daily and read Scripture.
  • Regularly celebrate the sacraments, especially in Sunday Mass each week.
  • Trust in the Holy Spirit to give you the grace needed to share your faith with others.
  • Study the faith through the Catechism of the Catholic Church and faith formation programs.
  • Participate in service opportunities.
  • Personally invite your family, friends, and neighbors to Sunday Mass in a welcoming spirit.
  • Be willing to listen to other peoples’ stories and questions about the Church without judgment.
  • Welcome new members of the parish, offer to help new parents, support the divorced and widowed.
  • Remember the words of Peter: “Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope” (1 Pt 3:15).

A congregation in prayer at Mass. Corbis photo by Andrew Lichtenstein for illustrative purposes only.For more information on the New Evangelization, see Disciples Called to Witness.

The document The Parish: The Neighborhood of the New Evangelization was developed as a resource by the Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). It was reviewed by the committee chairman, Bishop David L. Ricken, and has been authorized for publication by the undersigned.

Msgr. Ronny E. Jenkins, JCD
General Secretary, USCCB

Scripture excerpts used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, rev. ed. © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

ISBN 978-1-60137-397-7
First printing, [month] 2013

Copyright © 2013, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright holder.

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