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“The joy of the gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus.

Those who accept his offer of salvation are set free from sin, sorrow, inner

emptiness and loneliness. With Christ joy is constantly born anew . . .

I wish to encourage the Christian faithful to embark upon a new chapter

of evangelization marked by this joy, while pointing out new paths for the

Church’s journey in years to come.”


As a Church, we are called to be missionary disciples who know and live

the faith and confidently share the Gospel. There is a growing body of

material on how to be a missionary Church. In keeping with the call of

recent popes for Catholics to evangelize, bishops, in particular, need to

offer direction and encouragement for a joyful evangelization to take place.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB Committee

on Evangelization and Catechesis) has developed this leadership resource

for the purpose of encouraging missionary disciples in the task of evangeli-

zation. It is intended for use by bishops and other clergy, as well as reli-

gious, lay, and parish leaders and staff in dioceses, eparchies, associations,

parishes, missions, and educational settings, especially those in Catholic

schools, seminaries, and colleges/universities.

Purpose and Inspiration

The journey of evangelization has as its center the proclamation of Jesus

Christ and an invitation to deeper missionary discipleship. This resource

is designed to provide parishes and other church

ministries with what might be called a

road map

toward “new paths for the Church’s journey” of

evangelization. It is not intended to provide a

ready-made program for a parish to follow or a

detailed strategic plan to implement. Rather, it

offers principles that parishes can apply to their

efforts in evangelization and missionary disciple-

ship within their particular pastoral context and

as part of their existing planning process.

Although parishes are

most often mentioned

throughout this

resource, it is hoped

that it will also provide

assistance to dioceses,

schools, and all

Catholic associations.