Structures for Implementation (¶133-136)
133. Because this plan must involve every one of us, we bishops
first of all pledge to implement it ourselves. We pledge, as shepherds
of God's people, to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ through
welcome, mercy, and renewal. We pledge to continue being evangelized by
the Gospel of Jesus as we meet him in our people and in the challenges
of today's world.
134. We commit ourselves to adding new full-time staff for
evangelization at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in
Washington, D.C., to help dioceses and other church agencies carry out
the goals of this plan and strategy. As pastors of local churches, we
realize that individuals and parishes also need support at the diocesan
level. Each bishop will seriously consider establishing a diocesan
office and an evangelization committee or otherwise assign staff to give
the ministry of evangelization proper visibility and attention, as well
as provide resources for evangelization to his people. Parishes will be
looking to these offices for direction and materials.
135. We will work together with our brother priests and parish
leaders to formulate plans and strategies in the local churches that
will carry forward our common ministry of evangelization.
136. Bishops should take every occasion to speak out on the need
and duty of every Catholic to be an evangelizer. Because we need
everyone's help to implement this plan, we ask our brother and sister
Catholics to support us in the following ways:
- Each individual Catholic is to look at his or her
everyday life from the viewpoint of evangelization. Take note of the
many opportunities to support another's faith, to share faith, and to
help build up Jesus' kingdom in our homes and workplaces, among our
neighbors and friends. Catholics should participate in renewal programs
and receive training in evangelization.
- Families must find ways to highlight the faith that is part of
their daily life, until each family unit knows itself as a "domestic
church" living and sharing faith. If each household lived a vibrant
faith, the members would more naturally reach out to their friends and
neighbors, introducing them by their lives to the faith of Christ Jesus.
Households are invited to see the dynamics of welcoming, sharing,
caring, and nourishing as dynamics of evangelization. Families,
individually or together, should read this plan with a view to helping
them both appreciate and revitalize the practice of faith in the family
and in the neighborhood.
- Parishes, as part of their regular planning process, need to
examine their activities in light of this plan. They should consider how
to give their present ministry a clearer evangelizing focus and how new
ministries might be formed to achieve the goals of this plan. Each
parish should have an evangelization team trained and prepared to help
the whole parish implement the goals and objectives of this plan. These
teams could help train Cath-olics in evangelization and provide
resources to individuals, families, and parish groups. Parishes might
even consider designating a trained person as a full-time coordinator of
We ask parish leadership, especially pastors who have a critical
leadership role, to understand their ministry in terms of this plan. We
commit ourselves to support pastors in the implementation of this plan
by special gatherings to hear their concerns, assess their needs, and
address their issues. We recognize how burdened parish leadership is
today; our hope is that this plan can actually clarify the purpose of
parish leadership and thereby ease the burdens of already busy pastors.
- Catholic institutions are also to review their goals in light
of this plan. They should review the ways they can, through the services
they provide, reflect the Good News of Jesus. Schools and hospitals,
often the only face of the Church some people see, need to look at how
their staffs welcome and treat people. Ways in which people can be
invited to know Jesus and the Church through these institutions should
be constantly explored and reviewed. From our manner of welcoming,
enlisting, and serving people, all Catholic institutions should be signs
of the kingdom of Christ. Catholics enjoy a tremendous reputation in
serving the most basic human needs; along with that, should we not also
enjoy a reputation for sharing our Catholic faith?
- Local, diocesan, and national organizations need to renew their
own mission with a view to evangelization. Millions of Catholics belong
to Catholic organizations; their membership can lead them to a greater
pursuit of Catholic goals. Cannot the goals of our plan find an echo in
the goals of your organization? Your support, both nationally and
locally, will be a tremendous asset to the Church.