The XIII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops gathered from 7-8 October 2012 to discuss the theme: The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith. The New Evangelisation is directed to three principal settings:
- Ordinary Pastoral Ministry, which seeks to help believers to grow spiritually so that they can respond to God’s love ever more fully in their lives.
- The baptized whose lives do not reflect the demands of Baptism, to help them experience a conversion which will restore the joy of faith to their hearts and inspire a commitment to the Gospel.
- Those who do not know Jesus Christ or who always have rejected him. All of them have a right to receive the Gospel.
(Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium 15)
The “new-ness” of the new evangelisation lies in its enthusiasm and its innovation.
In calling for a new evangelisation, John Paul II identified an area of need, and empowered and encouraged the faithful to action. While the passion of many of the faithful had been waning, numerous Catholics have taken to the task of evangelisation with a renewed enthusiasm. However, such people have not been content to simply “do what has always been done”, since there is an assumption that the old methods of evangelisation and instruction have been inadequate for reaching people of today, particularly young people often attracted by fads and new trends.
The “new-ness” of the new evangelisation is therefore also embodied by the innovation of new methods.
For example, because young people relate very well with other young people, dynamic new “peer-to-peer” youth ministry models have arisen that employ young men and women of faith to meet young people at their own level and evangelise them.