The day before Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York was elevated to cardinal, he gave a speech to the Pope and the College of Cardinals. “The Announcement of the Gospel Today, Between Missio Ad Gentes and the New Evangelization” addressed secularization and what is needed for modern evangelization.
“Blessed John Paul II developed this fresh understanding, speaking of evangelizing cultures … and included in this task the re-evangelizing of cultures that had once been the very engine of Gospel values.
“The New Evangelization became the dare to apply the invitation of Jesus to conversion of heart not only ad extra, but ad intra, to believers and cultures where the salt of the Gospel had lost its tang. Thus, the missio is not only to New Guinea, but to New York. …
“We are convinced, confident and courageous in the New Evangelization because of the power of the Person sending us on mission — who happens to be the second Person of the Most Blessed Trinity — because of the truth of the message and the deep-down openness in even the most secularized of people to the divine.”
In his points, he also noted, “The missionary, the evangelist, must be a person of joy.”
He added, “The New Evangelization is accomplished with a smile, not a frown.” It’s “all about a ‘Yes’ to everything decent, good, true, beautiful and noble in the human person. The Church is about a Yes! Not a No!”
He ended his talk with a story. “When Cardinal Bertone asked me to give this address in Italian, I worried, because I speak Italian like a child.
“But, then I recalled that, as a newly ordained parish priest, my first pastor said to me as I went over to school to teach the 6-year-old children their catechism, ‘Now we’ll see if all your theology sunk in and if you can speak of the faith like a child.’ …
“We need to speak again as a child the eternal truth, beauty and simplicity of Jesus and his Church.”