.- The man responsible for leading Pope Benedict's mission to re-evangelize traditionally Christian countries is predicting that October 2012 will be the most important month to date for the Churchâs New Evangelization.
In October of next year, bishops around the world will convene in Rome to discuss the New Evangelization at a synodâjust as Pope Benedict launches his âYear of Faith.â
âI think next yearâs launch of the Year of Faith will be a really great event for the promotion of new evangelization,â Archbishop Salvatore (Rino) Fisichella told CNA on Nov. 22.
âOne whole year reflecting on faith, reflecting on our engagement in faith, of our choice of faith and also, Iâd say, in our knowledge of the content of our faith.â
Archbishop Fisichella is the head of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, a Vatican department created only last year by Pope Benedict.
âThe mission of the new evangelization,â Archbishop Fisichella said, âis to announce that Jesus Christ is the true answer to all the questions that men and woman have today trying to make sense of our lives.â
Over the past year, Archbishop Fisichella has firmly established the new department within the Roman curia while reaching out to dioceses around the world. He says itâs also been a year of discerning what the âbeautiful expressionâ of the term ânew evangelizationâ actually means.
Last month, the pontifical council brought 8000 people involved in various forms of evangelization to Rome to discuss the topic during a two-day conference.
âThat was our most important meeting of the year when we introduced the Holy Father to all the people representing the New Evangelization,â the archbishop said, âit was very deep and also very enthusiastic.â
One of the next significant events for the council is their 2012 Lenten âMetropolitan Missionâ where they will use 12 European cathedrals as a base to re-evangelize each city. The initiative will âshow the man of today,â Archbishop Fisichella said, âthat there is a resurgence of God underway.â
Some of the pontifical councilâs tasks for 2012-13 are already set out in the Popeâs Apostolic Letter titled âPorta Fidei,â which was issued in October and announced the Year of Faith.
âIt is written in Porta Fidei that each bishop along with priests and laity should find a special solemn moment in which to profess in public their faith,â the archbishop explained, âbut we hope in Rome, here at the tombs of St. Peter and St. Paul, that we can organize several events to also publically profess that our faith is a sign for the world of todayâa sign of hope and faith and love.â
Meanwhile the Synod of Bishops, which will chart much of the future course for the pontifical council, will meet next Oct. 7-28 under the title, âThe New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith.â