Friday 12th February 2016

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

Evangelii Gaudium . . . A Document To Savor And Return To

January 1, 2014 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By MOST REV. PHILIP EGAN

(Editor’s Note: The Most Rev. Philip Egan, bishop of Portsmouth, England, sent the following message to the priests and people of the Diocese of Portsmouth on the publication of Pope Francis’ post-synodal apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium. He called the exhortation a stimulus to put faith into action. The bishop’s message was dated December 9, 2013, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. ZENIT News Agency provided the text; all rights reserved.)

+    +    +

On November 24 this year, the Solemnity of Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe, in conclusion to the Year of Faith, Pope Francis published the apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (“The Joy of the Gospel”) that followed up the Synod of Bishops held in Rome in 2012 on “The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith.”
On behalf of the clergy and people of the Diocese of Portsmouth, I welcome this uplifting and courageous document and I wish publicly to thank the Holy Father for his deep and meaningful teaching. Because in this exhortation the Pope freely develops the discussions of the synod and adds so much of his own thought and reflection, I suggest that alongside Evangelii Gaudium, we also continue to study the 58 propositions the synod issued so that the significant contribution of the synod to Catholic thought and to the work of our diocese not be overlooked.
Evangelii Gaudium is a long document. Yet it is easy to follow, and its central message, about how a personal relationship with Jesus Christ in His Body the Church naturally drives us out joyfully to evangelize others, is direct.
It is a classic expression of Pope Francis’ thought, style, and preaching as seen in his daily homilies at Mass, his speeches and audiences. I encourage everyone in our diocese to read it and study it, perhaps a few paragraphs a day, over the coming months. It is a perfect accompaniment to the “Year of Faith in Action” that I recently announced for the diocese as a follow-up to the Year of Faith.
The exhortation has five chapters. In chapter one (nn. 19-41), the Holy Father begins with the Church and how we need to transpose everything into a missionary key, going beyond our comfort zones to take the Good News of Christ joyfully to the peripheries. He next discusses the crisis of community in the modern world (nn. 50-109), brought about in part by trickle-down economics and consumer culture, which generates individualism and indifference.
In chapter three (nn. 110-175), he explores certain aspects of evangelization, such as the need to inculturate the Gospel and the role of preaching. Chapter four (nn. 176-258) is about the social dimension of the Church’s mission, especially her preferential option for the poor — “I want a Church that is poor for the poor” (n. 198) — and the need to build peace, justice, and fraternity. The Holy Father concludes the exhortation with a brief chapter on the spirituality of being a missionary disciple (nn. 259-288).
There are three features of the exhortation I wish to draw attention to, before asking some specific questions about how the Holy Father’ message might apply to the Diocese of Portsmouth.
1) First, note the Holy Father’s trenchantly critical analysis of the current economic model of consumer capitalism (nn. 52-60). Money, he avers, has become an idol that no longer serves people but dominates and excludes, creating huge inequalities that marginalize many and lead some to violence. “How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?…Can we continue to stand by when food is thrown away while people are starving?” (n. 53).
In this context, “some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting.”
Indeed, “we are thrilled if the market offers us something new to purchase” but in the meantime, “all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move us” (n. 54). The current socioeconomic system is “unjust at its root” (n. 59): it needs to be brought into dialogue with ethics and with God.
2) Clergy might note, secondly, the Holy Father’s extensive consideration of the homily and its preparation (nn. 135-159). In the liturgy, the homily should not dominate but lead people, like a mother speaking with her child, to Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. The pastor must be close both to the word of God and to his people. His words should set people on fire (n. 142). The preacher needs to be personal (n. 149), linked with daily life (n. 154) and able to use clear images (n. 157) with simple language (n. 158). His message must always be positive and lead listeners to a personal encounter with Christ.
3) Thirdly, the Holy Father speaks time and again of the Church’s mission as one of preferential love for the poor (nn. 186-216). “Each individual Christian and every community is called to be an instrument of God for the liberation and promotion of the poor, and for enabling them to be fully a part of society.” Indeed, if we, “who are God’s means of hearing the poor, turn deaf ears to this plea, we oppose the Father’s will and his plan” (n. 187).
This planet belongs to everyone, not just a few; the “mere fact that some people are born in places with fewer resources or less development does not justify the fact that they are living with less dignity. It must be reiterated that the more fortunate should renounce some of their rights so as to place their goods more generously at the service of others” (n. 190).
God’s heart “has a special place for the poor, so much so that he himself became poor” (2 Cor. 8:9). The Savior “was born in a manger, in the midst of animals, like children of poor families; he was presented at the Temple along with two turtledoves, the offering made by those who could not afford a lamb; he was raised in a home of ordinary workers and worked with his own hands to earn his bread” (n. 197).
This is why, Pope Francis adds, “I want a Church which is poor and for the poor” (n. 198). He mentions the “homeless, the addicted, refugees, indigenous peoples, the elderly who are increasing isolated and abandoned, . . . migrants . . . victims of various kinds of human trafficking, . . . unborn children,” the latter being the “most defenseless and innocent” of all (nn. 210, 211, and 216).
Evangelii Gaudium is challenging. At times the Holy Father adopts a style of “prophetic denunciation,” reminiscent of liberation theology, although without the undercurrent of Marxist ideology. It is a document to savor and return to, and a stimulus and call to put faith into action. In the Diocese of Portsmouth, as a follow-up from the Year of Faith, we have announced a “Year of Faith in Action” and during this Year we will be establishing our new diocesan agency, Caritas Portsmouth.
This is exactly in line with the Holy Father’s message. Consequently, I wish to urge the clergy and people of our parishes and pastoral areas to study this apostolic exhortation. Ask yourselves: Who are the poor in your neighborhood? What is the meaning of “poverty” in your local context? What strategies of assistance and support for those in need might you individually and communally put in place?
But there are three further questions the document raises for our Diocese of Portsmouth, that I would like to ask. First, our parish communities and pastoral areas. The parish, Pope Francis states, is a key locus of new evangelization. Over the coming Year of Faith in Action, I wish to ask you to give some thought as to how our parishes and pastoral areas can be transformed into truly evangelizing communities.
“The parish is . . . the presence of the Church in a given territory, an environment for hearing God’s word, for growth in the Christian life, for dialogue, proclamation, charitable outreach, worship, and celebration. In all its activities the parish encourages and trains its members to be evangelizers. It is a community of communities, a sanctuary where the thirsty come to drink in the midst of their journey, and a center of constant missionary outreach” (n. 28).
As your bishop I ask you: How genuinely mission-oriented is your parish and your pastoral area?

Evangelizing
The Urban Areas

2) Secondly, our cities and urban areas. The Holy Father discusses the challenges of modern urban culture and the city as the particular goal of new evangelization (nn. 71-75). We “need to look at cities with a contemplative gaze, a gaze of faith which sees God dwelling in their homes, in their streets and squares” (n. 71).
For new “cultures are constantly being born in these vast new expanses where Christians are no longer the customary interpreters or generators of meaning. Instead, they themselves take from these cultures new languages, symbols, messages, and paradigms which propose new approaches to life, approaches often in contrast with the Gospel of Jesus” (n. 73).
The challenge is how to find “innovative spaces and possibilities for prayer and communion which are more attractive and meaningful for city dwellers” (n. 74).
So let us think of the cities and urban areas of our Diocese of Portsmouth. They tend to follow the motorway corridors: the M3, M4, M27, etc. Think, for instance, of Oxford, Reading, Ascot and Windsor, Aldershot, Basingstoke, Winchester, Eastleigh and Southampton, Portsmouth and Bournemouth. Then there are the islands, the Isle of Wight and the Channel Isles, which are fairly densely populated.
How should we “interpret” these dispersed urban areas? That is, how might the Lord be calling us specifically to evangelize them? What are the needs? What new “ways-in” might there be?
At the moment, I am conducting a consultation about grouping our pastoral areas into six or seven larger regions or deaneries in order to enable better strategic thinking for the new evangelization. But as your bishop I ask you: How might you, your parish community, your pastoral area, become a better evangelizer of the urban cultures of our dispersed centers?

Conversation With The Lord

3) And thirdly, ourselves. Pope Francis here and elsewhere calls for our churches to be open. The “Church is called to be the house of the Father, with doors always wide open. One concrete sign of such openness is that our church doors should always be open, so that if someone, moved by the Spirit, comes there looking for God, he or she will not find a closed door” (n. 47).
Moreover, “without prolonged moments of adoration, of prayerful encounter with the Word, of sincere conversation with the Lord, our work easily becomes meaningless; we lose energy as a result of weariness and difficulties, and our fervor dies out.
“The Church urgently needs the deep breath of prayer, and to my great joy groups devoted to prayer and intercession, the prayerful reading of God’s word and the perpetual adoration of the Eucharist are growing at every level of ecclesial life” (n. 262).
How good it is, the Holy Father opines, “to stand before a crucifix, or on our knees before the Blessed Sacrament, and simply to be in his presence! How much good it does us when he once more touches our lives and impels us to share his new life!” (n. 264).
For the “primary reason for evangelizing is the love of Jesus which we have received, the experience of salvation which urges us to ever greater love of him.” In the Diocese of Portsmouth, I once again urge everyone: Keep your church open! Visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament! Adore Him and come away renewed, sharing your love and happiness with others!
But as your bishop I ask you: When and how are you yourself going to find time to do this, to be in the Presence of the Lord in the Holy Eucharist? Pope Francis concludes Evangelii Gaudium by turning to Mary.
He notes that whenever we look to her, “we come to believe once again in the revolutionary nature of love and tenderness. In Her we see that humility and tenderness are not virtues of the weak but of the strong who need not treat others poorly in order to feel important themselves. . . . She is the woman of prayer and work in Nazareth, and She is also Our Lady of Help, who sets out from Her town ‘with haste’ (Luke 1:39) to be of service to others. This interplay of justice and tenderness, of contemplation and concern for others, is what makes the ecclesial community look to Mary as a model of evangelization” (n. 288).
At the end of this message, let us commend ourselves and all the clergy and people of our diocese to the powerful intercession of Mary Immaculate our patron. Mary is the Star of New Evangelization and if you look at my episcopal “coat of arms” you will see that Star shining brightly in the sky over the Diocese of Portsmouth.
Here is part of the Holy Father’s prayer, which I ask you now to pray: “O Mary, Star of the New Evangelization, help us to bear radiant witness to communion and service, to ardent and generous faith, and to justice and love of the poor, so that the joy of the Gospel may reach to the ends of the earth, illuminating even the fringes of our world.” Amen.
In Corde Iesu.

+    +    +

(© Innovative Media Inc.)

Share Button

Comment on this Article:

COMPLETE 3 PART Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Insights On The State Of The Church In The Aftermath Of The Ordinary Synod On The Family

Cburke3

By DON FIER Part 1 (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, recently traveled from Rome to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., a magnificent place of worship which he founded and dedicated. (His Eminence graciously granted an extensive interview to The Wanderer during which he…Continue Reading

‘Justice has been served’ – Bishop Conley on why he invited Bishop Finn to Lincoln

Lincoln, Neb., Feb 5, 2016 / 11:29 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Bishop James D. Conley of Lincoln defended his decision to allow Bishop Robert Finn, former bishop of Kansas City, Mo., to take a position as chaplain of a community of…Continue Reading

Marco Rubio, David Daleiden; Chi-Town priest ‘outs’ himself

The young investigative journalist and pro-life activist David Daleiden – whom GOP presidential hopeful Marco Rubio recently defended – will present himself before Judge Brock Thomas in Houston on February 4. Peter Breen, special counsel for the Thomas More Society,…Continue Reading

Catholic Italy mobilises as conservatives mount last stand against same-sex unions

It has been 2,000 years since Romans gathered at the Circus Maximus to watch chariots roar around the racetrack, but a new battle was brought to the ancient site on Saturday . Clutching banners reading “We defend our children” and…Continue Reading

New documents prove Planned Parenthood profited from selling aborted body parts: pro-life group

HOUSTON, January 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – A pro-life organization has released documents that may show Planned Parenthood illegally profited from the sale of aborted babies’ body parts, furthering a Texas state investigation and possibly triggering a new grand jury in…Continue Reading

TRUMP’S SPOKESWOMAN MUST APOLOGIZE

Bill Donohue comments on a remark made by Donald Trump’s national spokeswoman, Katrina Pierson: On December 18, 2011, Katrina Pierson sent the following tweet: “Just saw a commercial from Catholic Church stating that Catholic Church

Faithful Catholic Education Offers Understanding of True Freedom, Says Archbishop Lucas

Catholic education prepares students to live a life of faith, but also offers students a true understanding of God-given freedom in an environment in which they can grow in virtue, said Archbishop George Lucas of the Archdiocese of Omaha, Neb.,…Continue Reading

NFL star who refused to meet Obama over abortion gives powerful talk at March for Life

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 22, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – All the speakers at the 2016 March for Life play a pivotal role – but only one was regularly called an MVP. Matt Birk, the former center for the Minnesota Vikings and the…Continue Reading

2016 March for Life heats up blizzard-stricken Washington (PHOTOS)

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 22, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – The blizzard snows are falling on the nation’s capital, layering the city in a blanket of frost that could be two to three feet thick by tomorrow morning. But for awhile this afternoon,…Continue Reading

SPECIAL REPORT: Planned Parenthood Offices Located Near Half of Catholic Colleges, Alarming Pro-Life Leaders

Half of all four-year, residential Catholic colleges in the U.S. are within five miles of Planned Parenthood facilities, a study by The Cardinal Newman Society has found. Catholic pro-life leaders warn that the close proximity of these Planned Parenthood centers…Continue Reading

81 percent of Americans support dramatically stronger pro-life reforms: Poll

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 19, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – An overwhelmingly majority – including two-thirds of self-described “pro-choice” Americans – would support greatly strengthening laws that protect the unborn, according to a new poll released this morning. In all, 81 percent of…Continue Reading

New initiative aims to make Catholic men ‘watchmen’

For years, Chad Crow has attended the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis’ annual conference for men. And the father of four, who is a parishioner at Transfiguration in Oakdale, said that he and other men who attend the conference…Continue Reading

Vatican Parishes Are Now Welcoming Refugees

Diocese of Rome Responds to Holy Father’s September Invitation for Parishes to Host a Family of Refugees January 15, 2016  By ZENIT Staff Responding to Pope Francis’ appeal this September, Vatican parishes have begun welcoming refugee families. In his Sept.…Continue Reading

Newsmax

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

A Powerful Weapon: 15 Quotes on the Holy Rosary

We live in evil times. I hardly need elaborate the multitude of crises that fill the globe. Sadly, many are being swept away by this flood of evil and are succumbing to an overwhelming anxiety and discouragement. But no matter how tempting it is, we must not shrink back. We must pray and fast with a living faith and a firm confidence—and there is no better way to…Continue Reading

12 Ways to Become a Committed Catholic Man

There is a Catholic “man-crisis.” Large numbers of men who were baptized Catholic have left the Church and the majority of those who remain are “Casual Catholic Men”, men who do not know the Catholic faith and don’t practice it. This large-scale failure of Catholic men to commit themselves to Jesus Christ and His Church has contributed to the accelerating…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Pope’s Angelus reflection: Trust in the word of the Lord

(Vatican Radio) Do not be afraid but trust in the word of the Lord: that was Pope Francis message to the crowds gathered in a windswept St Peter’s Square on Sunday for the recitation of the Angelus prayer. The Pope based his reflections on the Gospel reading which tells the story of Jesus calling his first disciples by Lake Galilee. After fishing all night without a catch, they are washing their nets when Jesus gets…Continue Reading

Christie and Bush attack Cruz, Rubio for being too pro-life

Fr. Mark Hodges WASHINGTON, D.C., February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Pro-lifers across the nation are scratching their heads and saying, “With friends like Chris Christie and Jeb Bush, who needs enemies?” Their frustration comes from both Christie and Bush attacking other presidential candidates as unelectable because they are pro-life without compromise. This morning on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program, New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie attacked Florida’s Senator Marco Rubio for not favoring aborting children conceived in…Continue Reading

INTERVIEW: Padre Pio In Rome: Saints as Living Icons of Divine Mercy

Stefano Campanella, Director of Padre Pio TV and Author of Publications on the Friar of Pietrelcina, Reflects on Significance of the Historic Transfer •February 4, 2016•Osvaldo Rinaldi• Stefano Campanella, born in 1964 in Putignano, Italy, lives with his family at San Giovanni Rotondo. He has been a parliamentary journalist and Vatican expert. Currently, he serves as director of Padre Pio TV and heads the press office of the religious province of Sant’Angelo and Padre Pio…Continue Reading

Pope: The Faith is the greatest inheritance we can leave

(Vatican Radio) The most beautiful inheritance we can leave to others is the Faith: that was Pope Francis’ message during Holy Mass on Thursday morning at the Casa Santa Marta. In his homily, he invited us to not fear death, because the course of life continues. Thinking about death illuminates life The day’s first reading tells the story of the death of King David. “In every life there is an ending,” the Pope said. This…Continue Reading

The Pope: consecrated life must be close to the people

pope301

Vatican City, 2 February 2016 (VIS) – The following are extensive extracts of the Holy Father’s extemporaneous address to the participants in the Jubilee of Consecrated Life, which took place yesterday in the Paul VI Hall. This afternoon in St. Peter’s Basilica he will celebrate the Mass to conclude the Year of Consecrated Life. “I have prepared a text for this occasion regarding the themes of consecrated life and three of its most important pillars:…Continue Reading

Bloomberg Vs. Trump?

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN The morning of the New Hampshire primary, Donald Trump, being interviewed on Morning Joe, said that he would welcome his “friend” Michael Bloomberg into the presidential race. Which is probably the understatement of 2016. The three-term mayor of New York and media mogul whose fortune is estimated at $39 billion, making…Continue Reading

A Potpourri . . . To Be Is To Give, And Other Matters

By GEORGE A. KENDALL The most fundamental question for all of is: What are we for? What is life about? What is selfhood about? Are we here to aggrandize ourselves with things like power, wealth, brilliance? Or are we here to give ourselves? We think that by working to add to the self, we increase…Continue Reading

Blessed José Sanchez Del Rio… Miraculous Cure Of A Baby Leads To His Sainthood

MEXICO CITY (CNA/EWTN News) — The miraculous cure of a baby with brain damage through the intercession of Mexican martyr Blessed José Luis Sanchez del Rio has been approved by the Vatican, completing the final step for the teen’s path to sainthood. Pope Francis signed the decree January 21, verifying the inexplicable recovery of a…Continue Reading

Begging For Mercy

By DONALD DeMARCO When we do not hear another person’s words correctly we say, “I beg your pardon.” A moderator appears on stage and apologizes for a momentary inconvenience by saying to the audience, “I beg your indulgence.” These words flow easily from our lips, usually without much reflection. They have become automatic responses, polite…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “How Dissenters Attack The ‘Holiness’ Of The Church”

By BRIAN CLOWES Conclusion (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of the book Call to Action or Call to Apostasy, consisting of a detailed description of the current forms of dissent and how to fight them, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.)…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Listening To Jesus

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Second Sunday In Lent (YR C) Readings: Gen. 15:-12, 17-18 Phil. 3:1-4:1 Luke 9:28b-36 In the Gospel reading today the apostles were blessed to hear the voice of God speaking about His Son. The first part of the statement, that Jesus is the Son of God, is pretty easy for us to handle. The second part…Continue Reading

The Year Of Consecrated Life Ends . . . Answering God’s Call And Proclaiming His Mercy

By MOST REV. LEO O’REILLY KILMORE, Ireland (ZENIT) — Bishop Leo O’Reilly of Kilmore gave this homily on Sunday, January 31 to mark the closing of the Year of Consecrated Life. The year ended February 2, the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, and the World Day of Consecrated Life. Bishop O’Reilly told consecrated persons that they have been…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . Jesus Gave Witness In The Public Square

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK “Seems to me that Jesus wants us to love our neighbors and leave the judging up to Him.” This is a typical response of many people when they encounter the Church and her members witnessing to their faith by speaking out on moral teachings in the public square. Christian witness in a visible, public way…Continue Reading

An Apologetics Course . . . Hostility Against The Church

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 40 Fourth objection: Why do so many people have hostility to the Catholic Church? Reply: Why was Jesus the object of hostility from so many people? In simple terms, the Pharisees may have refused Him as they could not accept His doctrine and felt threatened by His power to perform miracles. The Sadducees may…Continue Reading

Life Everlasting — The Particular Judgment

By DON FIER In concluding our examination of the teaching of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) on article 11 of the Creed, we saw that in order “to rise with Christ, we must die with Christ” (CCC, n. 1005). Death, with all the mystery which surrounds this common fate of all mankind, is the gateway to everlasting life.…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Miguel Febres Cordero Munoz

By CAROLE BRESLIN There have been many saints born in Europe who came to the Americas to convert the natives and work among immigrants. These included St. Isaac Jogues, St. Frances Cabrini, and St. Damien of Molokai, to name a few. There were few saints who were born in the Americas and then went to Europe and died there far…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Boleslava Maria Lament

By CAROLE BRESLIN The Catholic Church observes the Church Unity Octave from January 18 through January 25. For each day of the octave, we pray for a different form of unity. For example, on January 18, the intention is for the return of separated Eastern Christians to communion with the Holy See. Another day the intention is for the restoration…Continue Reading