“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
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
resource, it is hoped
that it will also provide
assistance to dioceses,
schools, and all