GET OUT OF THE BOAT
THE ESSENTIAL MISSION OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH:
ACTIVELY ANSWERING THE CLARION CALL TO EVANGELIZE
CARDINAL AVERY DULLES
In one of his last writings before he died, Cardinal Avery Dulles wrote a forward to a book on evangelization and cited a study that indicated that evangelization, despite increasing talk about it, was not, in fact, a priority for the overwhelming number of Catholic parishes. He cites these unsettling statistics:
Asked whether spreading the faith was a high priority of their parishes, 75 percent of conservative Protestant congregations and 57 percent of African American congregations responded affirmatively, whereas only 6 percent of Catholic parishes did the same. Asked whether they sponsored local evangelistic activities, 39 percent of conservative Protestant congregations and 16 percent of African American congregations responded positively as compared with only 3 percent of Catholic parishes. Converts to Catholicism often report that on their spiritual journey they received little or no encouragement from Catholic clergy whom they consulted….The Council has often been interpreted as if it had discouraged evangelization.
The statistics cited above are from a study by Nancy T. Ammerman, Pillars of Faith (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005), tables on pp. 117, 134, cited by Cardinal Dulles in the forward to the book by Timothy E. Byerley, The Great Commission: Models of Evangelization in American Catholicism (New York: Paulist Press, 2008), ix.
CREDIT: Freeing the New Evangelization: Removing Doctrinal Confusion by Dr. Ralph Martin of Renewal Ministries
"Evangelization is an invitation to exchange the gods of despair, boredom, emptiness, hedonism for the God of promise, rescue, deliverance and generosity. Evangelization is an invitation to imagine a different life, to move from the harsh rule of other gods to God's Kingdom."
~ Graham Tomlin from his book, "The Provocative Church"