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New Evangelization a call for conversion—archbishop

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MANILA, Jan. 23, 2013—Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas stressed at a recent symposium the need for conversion for all people and to reach out to those who are far away from the Church.

“New Evangelization is a call for our conversion,” he said during a symposium on the New Evangelization held at St. John Bosco Parish-Makati on Jan. 21.

Synod participants Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan, Ms. Joy Candelario of Bukal ng Tipan and Fr. Renato De Guzman, SDB, of the Don Bosco Technical Institute-Makati share their insights on New Evangelization: From the Filipino perspective.

Villegas said “New Evangelization is a Church in contemplation, a fruit of discernment and coming from above.”

“It is for the sake of the Church and is neither a self-defense, nor for the sake of maintaining the status, or for one self, it is for the life of the World. It is a call for our conversion, so we must reach out to those who have been alienated from the Church,” he said.

Calling the attention of everyone, the prelate said the youth should not be told to wait for tomorrow to become relevant and important.

“We, the clergy, religious, lay catechists and educators should listen to what they tweet and what they blog. We just need to be like Jesus for and with them as we bare the task of evangelizing them,” Villegas added.

He stressed three points to ponder on doing New Evangelization which are Imitation before worship, Conversion before celebration and Listening before proclaiming.

“It is necessary to allow Christ to disturb our value system because it is easy to say “I believe” but hard to prove. While celebration without conversion is a cheap joy so we must take the importance of the call to conversion as essential. And we must be a contemplative Church who is sitting by the feet of the Lord and listening to Him in order for us to be like Jesus,” Villegas furthered.

Ms. Joy Candelario of Bukal ng Tipan on the other hand shared the context of the New Evangelization as a lay person on the framework of a Samaritan woman.

She emphasized that the lay people must live their faith in a more sincere way and to encounter Jesus not just by following Him but by loving Him in one another.

Meanwhile, Salesian priest Fr. Renato De Guzman, SDB, gave his insights on the sharing with the Bishops on the Synod in New Evangelization as Priest-Religious and a Catechist.

“The New Evangelization is continuing to go into the faith and proclaim the Gospel with reverence, courage in the Spirit of Jesus and the Apostles. We must have a personal connection with Christ as the foundation of all Evangelization. We must also have an end grace of all Evangelization for conversion or holiness and the Holy Spirit is the primary agent of New Evangelization,” De Guzman said.

“Priests must be formed to  think and feel with the Church, while consecrated life needs to live their identity radically with joy and remain as true witnesses of life. And lastly, catechists must have personal encounter with Christ and should be intentionally planned and sustained,” De Guzman added.

De Guzman furthered that the task of New Evangelization is the transmission of the Christian faith not just for those un-churched but also to those who are already in the Church.

Attended by almost 1,000 priests, religious men and women and lay people who are catechists and religious educators, the Synod on the New Evangelization was organized by the Don Bosco Center of Studies in Makati.

The “Synod on the New Evangelization: A Filipino perspective” symposium pave the way for three Catholic speakers to share their reflections during the Synod of Bishop’s last year in Vatican for the new Evangelization. (Jandel Posion/CBCPNews)


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