I Imagine: The World of Evangelisation
By Fr Joseph Falkiner OP – All Christians have a joint mission to take to the world: evangelisation.
Recent popes, including Pope Francis, have been trying for years to make Catholics aware that the whole Church has this mission.
The new Pastoral Plan, launched by the bishops in late January, mentions the same aim.
Evangelisation means a gigantic effort to assist the general population to become knowledgable on the ideas expressed in the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
Evangelisation is not a plan to make everybody become Catholics, although that would be welcomed. The idea is that everyone who is Christian or belonging to another religion or no religion at all should be assisted to discover what is contained in the Gospels.
Evangelisation is aimed at the general public.
This is where the Dominicans, the order I belong to, have such an important role to play (and what I will say here refers specifically to the order to of which I am a member, but also addresses all Christians).
For 800 years now the order has preached to both Catholics and non-Catholics about the Church’s theology and its doctrines.
Now, as the Church under Pope Francis begins to put more stress on evangelisation than on doctrines, in the same way we Dominicans will be starting to put more stress on the values and ideas expressed by Jesus and noted in the Gospels than we have done in the past.
How do we reach the general public?
I imagine that we will start by seeking ways to apply these Gospel values to the problems of our society. We all know what those problems are.
I imagine that Dominican priests working in parishes will speak frequently about societies’ problems in our sermons, whenever they can relate them to the Gospel of the day.
I imagine that the Fathers, Brothers, Sisters and Dominican laity and youth who are involved in catechetics at parish level or teaching in schools or universities will be doing something similar in their discussions with their students.
I imagine that those Dominican who preach retreats will be speaking more about this call to get involved in evangelisation in place of the more usual call to holiness.
I imagine that those Dominicans who work creatively in the media will use their artistic talents to produce videos, articles and booklets which will reach out to the general public and promote these Gospel values.
I imagine that those Dominican men and women who are involved in the literary world will produce poems, novels and stories that do the same.
I imagine that all Dominicans will see themselves as evangelisers, and that will become an essential part of our various apostolates.
We are all called to be Preachers of the Word of God. The official title as Dominicans is the Order of Preachers.
That is why we put the letters OP after our names. This is our special mission. It is our traditional charism.
The final thing I imagine is that when we do this, it will bring a revitalisation in all branches of the Dominican order.
There may well be a surge in vocations, priestly vocations, religious vocations, and Dominican lay vocations, including the youth.
I invite people who are interested in this idea to contact their nearest Dominican community and offer to become involved in whatever way they can. And when you visit them, take a copy (or screenshot) of this article with you to show them how you got the idea.
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