That, Fr. Gawronski said, is "the litmus test," continuing that evangelization is not "in the first instance a matter of getting teachings out there, or correct philosophy, or metaphysics, let alone correct catechesis, or dogmas to people."
While affirming the importance of teaching, he said that "in the end everyone needs to encounter Christ. And how do we encounter Christ?"
"Well, different ways, for some people it's mystical gifts, or sacraments, or teachings, but for everybody, it would be the love of Christ shown by his members for the people in the world: 'go out and make disciples of all nations.'"
Making disciple of all nations, Fr. Gawronski said, "means to lead them to know Christ; and I think the greatest proof of him, if you will, is the love that he brings from the Father into the world, and the love that his members in the Church bring to the world."
He cited the importance of the love shown to people at Catholic schools and hospitals around the world, that has evangelized them, and drawn them to the person of Christ, because "in some way the love of Christ became accessible to them, in very concrete terms. And of course the heart of that though has to be an interpersonal experience of love, which people have from God."
"So when I talk about the new evangelization for me, it has to mean we have to learn to love one another; and make that love palpable in the world."
"Now, the name of love incarnate is Jesus, and the whole edifice of Catholicism, the teachings, doctrine, sacraments, all of that, feeds that relationship, guarantees it, anchors it, articulates it; that's absolutely, absolutely true."
Yet he added that "it's as simple as giving a cup of cold water to a disciple. Jesus did not say blessed will you be if you put catechisms in people's hands, but blessed are you if you take care of people."
This, Fr. Gawronski said, is "what Francis is so focusing on: the corporal works of mercy...I think we have have to listen to that. It doesn't exhaust the ways of serving, (but) it's his gift while he's Pope."
Fr. Morozowich similarly touched on the importance of Pope Francis, as well as Benedict, and their particular gifts as related to the Year of Faith and to faith itself.
"When we look at the role of faith, and the person of Benedict, and the person of Francis, we have two human beings; this is one of the great things we have to remember...the Pope of Rome is a human being, after all, but the role of guidance of the Church is God's guidance; we have human beings who are walking in the shoes for a time, who are helping with the best of the gifts they've been given, as best they've been able to respond to those gifts."
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church. When you subscribe to the CNA UPDATE, we'll send you a daily email with links to the news you need and, occasionally, breaking news.
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
In fact, he added that Benedict's "dramatic stepping down" from the office of Bishop of Rome "accentuated" that the office "is not about him as a person, but it's about this great life of faith in Jesus Christ.
"As we celebrate this year of the faith, and as we see this encyclical that spans the two of them, we're reminded about that: that faith is that gift of God, that the papacy is a gift of god, and this is about how we see this mystical body on earth, coming together, and growing and sojourning."
Reflecting on the fact that Benedict XVI also called the Year of Faith to reflect on the documents of Vatican II, Fr. Morozowich added that the Council stimulated the understanding of the Church as the "people of God" who "continues God's presence."
Touching on the lasting effects of the Year of Faith, reaching out beyond its end on Sunday, Fr. Morozowich suggested that "it's just as we see the parable of the sower."
"We're scattering the seeds, planting them, and then you just never know how God's gentle voice works."