The Future of the Church
The Pope has been repeating it over
Evangelization. New evangelization.
does it mean? It means simply that
of today, at the threshold of the year
needs to listen again the good news
Christ! In the midst of today's confusion
and muddled values, where there are
people suffering because of economic
political systems which fail to solve
real problems, Jesus Christ must be
anew. Christianity believes that it
the real answer to man's anguish.
Well over a decade ago Pope Paul VI
courage to state and to repeat that
must be built again psychologically
afresh. And the present Pope is reiterating
over and over again the need for a
of the Gospel, even and especially
where Christianity has roots going
the ages. This evangelization has to
as regards its ardor, its methods and
Something somewhere has gone wrong! The values
which motivate our lives are not evangelical.
Religion is more of a tranquilizer
driving force. A bishop was once heard
lament : "Wherever Jesus went
was a revolution; wherever I go, people
tea!" The majority still seek
but few make an authentic journey of
In our Western world, we are basically
with two challenges. On the one hand
culture that shelves God from its conscience
and gives priority to the acquisition
material goods and immediate pleasure,
the obvious result that gradually we
allergic to anything that is transcendental.
And, on the other hand spiritual disorientation
because the fast growing idols of success,
comfort and money beguile man's heart
such an extent that one finds himself
Hence a radical solution is needed.
the pond dries up and the fish are
on the parched land, to moisten them
one's breath or damp them with spittle
no substitute for flinging them back
the lake... remarks Anthony de Mello.
it is not a question of multiplying
and devotions or even of a basic intellectual
transmission of more doctrine. Neither
is a question of organizing ourselves
The Church in many places is running
risk of becoming too clustered with
and organization. The priest is becoming
more and more an administrator and
less a shepherd.
What is really needed is on-going catechises
capable of leading Christians (and
are Christians, too!) to a progressive
of the faith and of the Christian life
a following of Christ. This is not
reserved to a particular elite but
vision of any healthy pastoral outlook.
ignoring children, such activity must
directed with particular attention
- they are the first witnesses and
of the young. Faith transmits itself
in any family!
How can one work a valid on-going catechises
with the fundamental objective of forming
mature Christians? It is the one million
dollar question which has quite a simple
The Church has always considered the
of the Christian life as a journey
From the very first centuries, there
a concern to accompany and sustain
who wanted to become the Lord's disciples
through an exacting journey of faith.
was the reason why the catechumenate
extended and progressive insertion
mystery of Christ and into the Church
Even today this catechumenate remains
model for forming adult Christians.
the various factors which make up a
and organic process of conversion -
of the 'good news' of Christ, the deepening
of the Gospel message, the celebration
the sacraments in renewed efficacy,
commitment to share the burden of the
mission. God has already inaugurated
reality not only through the RCIA but
through a new charism called the Neocatechumenate
which is already giving abundant fruits
more than hundred nations worldwide.
Our mission is not to create new projects
but to discover his plans and to work
them. He is such a creative artist!
(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission
hereby granted for any non-commercial
provided that the content is unaltered
its original state, if this copyright