Welcome to this week’s Bishop’s Blog!
Today marks the high-point off a significant national evangelisation initiative called Proclaim ’15. Today in Birmingham a national evangelisation conference and celebration takes place that seeks to support, inspire and encourage new expressions of parish evangelisation.
A project of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, the initiative is designed to affirm and share the good work that is already being done by Catholic communities across the country, and to provide resources and events to share and grow new expressions of gospel joy, enthusiasm and missionary outreach.
Proclaim ’15 has five parts to it:
- PREPARATION: Parish small group sessions – three evangelisation-themed sessions have already been provided.
- PRAYER: Network of prayer vigils – all parishes have been invited to host an evening of prayer on 11 July 2015.
- EVENT: The National Catholic Evangelisation Conference – on 11 July 2015 in central Birmingham for 850 evangelisation representatives from across England and Wales – including 20 representatives from the Diocese of Lancaster led by Sr Mary Julian Ekman RSM of our Office for the New Evangelisation.
- LEGACY: Local events should be planned to follow the national conference – templates will be provided online to enable dioceses, deaneries and parishes to have their own Proclaim ’15 gatherings in autumn 2015.
- RESOURCES: New Evangelisation resources – these will also be made available as a fruit of the National Conference to equip parish evangelisation in autumn 2015.
Proclaim ’15 aims to have a practical and ‘how to’ focus to its work because while there is often enthusiasm within parishes to share our Faith, it can at times be hard to know discern how or where to begin.
This initiative aims to address that difficulty and is inspired by Pope Francis’ wonderful Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, in which he writes: “I wish to encourage the Christian faithful to embark upon a new chapter of evangelisation marked by this joy, while pointing out new paths for the Church’s journey in years to come.” Evangelii Gaudium 1
The booklet summarising the content of Proclaim ’15, includes an invitation to all Catholics to get involved so that together we can discover afresh new ways of joyfully sharing our faith as missionary disciples. I would encourage everyone to use and share it with those who may play a role in developing evangelisation locally.
Everyone will be able to beneﬁt from what will be provided on 11 July in Birmingham. All the materials oﬀered on the day will be collated and published post the event to support the building of missionary parishes. The day programme includes more than 10 “how to” practical focused workshop sessions and these will be made available to every parish, irrespective of whether or not they are represented at the national event.
Thank you for your support with Proclaim ’15 and please do keep this initiative in your prayers,
As ever Christ,
+Michael G Campbell OSA
Bishop of Lancaster