January 21, 2011

Catholic Evangelization Outreach / Peg McEvoy

Trust and proclaim Christ with your lives

“The primary task of evangelization is to identify the Savior of all people in Jesus Christ. Never grow tired of trusting in him and proclaiming him with your lives in the family and everywhere. This is what people expect from the Church and from Christians still today.”
- Pope Benedict XVI, 2006

How do we proclaim Jesus Christ “with our lives in the family and everywhere?”

The act of celebrating the Eucharist certainly proclaims Christ. Prayer with our spouses and children proclaims Christ. Acts of charity and compassion proclaim Christ.

When we point back to Christ as the reason for our actions and the source of our joy, we are evangelizing.

However, there are times when we need to identify Christ up front as the motivation for our actions and the reason for our concern as well.

On Jan. 24, approximately 200,000 people will be doing just that. They will prayerfully march in Washington, D.C., to fight for the lives of the unborn.

From Indianapolis there will be teenagers, adults, clergy and our own Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein. They will trust and proclaim Christ as they march to support the Gospel of life so often negated in our own country.

In Indianapolis, there will be a solemn observance of the anniversary of Roe v. Wade beginning with Mass at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral, a march to Veterans Memorial Plaza, recitation of the rosary and a guest speaker.

Can you proclaim Christ “everywhere” by committing to part or all of this event in Indianapolis? For more information, go to www.archindy.org/evangelization and click on the event under “Latest Updates.”

Not all of us have the opportunity to make the bold statement of participating in the March for Life or other solemn observance. But each of us can do something.

We need to trust in Jesus and proclaim him when we hear and see things that oppose his Gospel and the sanctity of life.

Some of us can pray more, maybe even say a novena. The “Novena for Life” from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and other novenas can be found at www.usccb.org/prolife/liturgy/novenas.shtml.

Do you need to become more informed about Church teaching on the value and protection of human life? You might consider reading “Evangelium Vitae” (“The Gospel of Life”) written by John Paul II in 1995. You can find links to this document and many others at www.usccb.org/prolife/tdocs.

All of the acts mentioned are acts of prayer, faith and witness. None of them involves hate or cruelty or violence. The world needs the truth spoken in love about the evil of abortion. As Pope Benedict said, people “expect” it.

Many people come to our faith because of the consistency and truth of our moral teachings, including the sanctity of life.

We sometimes partition our evangelization activities so much that we lose sight of their connectedness to all elements of our faith.

In your parish, do the teams focusing on evangelization, spiritual life, social justice and pro-life communicate and work with each other? Although the focus of each team may differ, there are certainly opportunities—such as the March for Life in January and Respect Life Sunday in October—to work together.

Regardless of our ability to participate in specific events, we are all called to proclaim Christ in our families, in our parishes and everywhere.

We must always point to him as the reason for our actions and the source of our joy—our Savior.

(Peg McEvoy is the archdiocesan associate director for Evangelization and Family Catechesis. For questions and/or help starting a parish evangelization team, contact her at pmcevoy@archindy.org.)

Local site Links: