Be My Witness Sample Session

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Introduction: What is the New Evangelization?

Session 1: Seeking Christ

Session 2: Encountering Christ

Session 3: Come Holy Spirit

Session 4: Engaging Our Gifts and Strengths for Christ

Session 5: The Power of Prayer

Session 6: Rediscovering Joy

Session 7: Called to Witness

Session 8: Run the Risk

Session 9: Witness Through Love

Session 10: Making Others Feel Welcome

Session 11: Witnessing Through Social Action

Session 12: Going Forth as Missionary Disciples

for the New Evangelization

What is the New Evangelization?

“How I long to find the right words to stir up enthusiasm for a new chapter of evangelization full of fervor, joy, generosity, courage, boundless love and attraction!”

Welcome to Be My Witness: Formation in the New Evangelization. Most of us have heard about the New Evangelization, but we may not be sure what it really means. There are a lot of questions floating around: If there is a “new” evangelization, does that mean there was an “old” evangelization? What is so important about this? How does it work? Why should it matter to me?

The word “evangelization” comes from the Greek word evangelizo, which means “bring good news.” The early Christians used the word when they proclaimed the “Good News” about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. They modeled their lives on the teachings of Jesus, and they burned with the desire to invite others to be baptized and join the community of believers.

Throughout the history of the Catholic Church, evangelization has played a key role in bringing people to Christ. “Classic” or “traditional” evangelization—sometimes called the mission ad gentes (to the nations)— focused on people who had never heard about Jesus Christ. It was primarily the responsibility of priests, religious, and missionaries to evangelize. Lay people were expected to offer spiritual and financial support. Today, “classic” or “traditional” evangelization is still an important function of the Catholic Church, and we are still called to support the foreign and domestic missions.

The idea for a New Evangelization has sprouted and grown during the past fifty years. It started during the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) which redefined the role of lay people based on a deeper understanding of baptism. This led to the recognition that all of the baptized—not just priests, religious, and missionaries—are called to witness to the Good News of Jesus Christ in words and actions.

In his 1975 apostolic exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi (On Evangelization in the Modern World), Pope Paul VI expanded this understanding of


evangelization, which he called “the primary mission of the Church.” He reiterated that evangelization is the responsibility of everyone who has been baptized, and he explained that evangelization happens when people allow the Holy Spirit to work through them and lead others to Christ.

In 1983 Pope John Paul II called for a New Evangelization—especially in Europe and North America where many baptized Catholics have lost the understanding of what it means to follow Christ. The pope said the New Evangelization “would not be new in its message of salvation through Jesus Christ,” but it would be “new in its ardor, in its methods, in its expressions” (Discourse to the XIX Assembly of CELAM, Port-au-Prince, 9 March 1983).

In his 1990 encyclical Redemptoris Missio—Mission of the Redeemer and throughout the remaining years of his papacy, Pope John Paul II elaborated on his vision for a “New Evangelization.” While affirming the Church’s missionary work among “peoples, groups, and socio-cultural contexts in which Christ and his Gospel are not known, or which lack Christian communities sufficiently mature to be able to incarnate the faith in their own environment and proclaim it to other groups,” he also wrote that “entire groups of the baptized have lost a living sense of the faith, or even no longer consider themselves members of the Church, and live a life far removed from Christ and his Gospel. In this case what is needed is a ‘new evangelization’ or a ‘re-evangelization’” (Redemptorist Missio, 33). With urgency, St. John Paul II invited the Church to renew her missionary commitment to proclaim Christ to all.

Pope Benedict XVI took the idea of a New Evangelization to another level by establishing a Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization, proclaiming a Year of Faith in 2012–2013, and convening a synod of bishops in October 2012 that focused on how to help people in all regions of the world “encounter the Lord, who alone fills our existence with deep meaning and peace” (Homily for the Eucharistic celebration for the solemn inauguration of the XIII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Rome, 7 October 2012).

Pope Francis teaches us how to live the New Evangelization. In November 2013, he released The Joy of the Gospel, an apostolic exhortation that calls for a joyful proclamation of the Gospel to the entire world. Pope Francis tells us that the lives of all people acquire meaning in their encounter with Jesus Christ and in the joy of sharing with others the experience of this loving encounter.


Pope Francis sees the New Evangelization as a catalyst that will move the Church out of a self-preserving maintenance mode and into a broaderbased missionary mode. “I dream of a ‘missionary option,’” he writes, “that is, a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channeled for the evangelization of today’s world” (The Joy of the Gospel, 27).

Pope Francis suggests that we begin by embracing the idea of missionary discipleship. “Every Christian is a missionary to the extent that he or she has encountered the love of God in Jesus Christ: we no longer say that we are ‘disciples’ and ‘missionaries,’ but rather that we are always ‘missionary disciples’” (The Joy of the Gospel, 120).

Through Be My Witness, Formation in the New Evangelization, we will come to a deeper understanding of missionary discipleship by

• reigniting our faith through personal encounters with Christ,

• learning to witness to the Good News of Jesus Christ as missionary disciples in our homes, our parishes, and our communities,

• allowing our witness to become the leaven that will help others encounter Christ.

The ultimate goal of the New Evangelization is to transform society by bringing peace, justice, and the presence of Christ into the world. Evangelization is not something we do; it is everything we do. It is a way of life that flows from who we are as followers of Christ.

During the twelve sessions of Be My Witness: Formation for the New Evangelization we will explore our call to this new way of living our faith, which is grounded in the gospel message and inspired by the movement of the Holy Spirit in our lives and in the lives of others.

During the first three sessions, we will get in touch with our own experience of being evangelized. We will encounter Christ by reading and reflecting on Scripture, by praying, and by sharing our faith with others. We will feel Christ’s call to become his witnesses. We will hear the quiet whispers of the Holy Spirit leading and guiding us. We will come to the deep understanding that our own experience of evangelization instills in us a burning desire to bring others to Christ.

During the next seven sessions, we will explore methods of evangelizing and the attitudes and behaviors of missionary disciples. We will have the

v Introduction

opportunity to use our gifts, experience the power of prayer, share our faith, reach out to others, and discover how we can extend a warm welcome in a spirit of joy and love.

During the final sessions, we will begin to see the potential for transforming society—the small but significant ways that our words and our actions can bring the presence of Christ into our increasingly secular world, in particular through the social ministry of the Church. We will not only know what the New Evangelization is, we will already have begun to live it.

From the beginning of his papacy in March 2013, Pope Francis set the New Evangelization in motion through his simple gestures of welcoming, listening, sharing, showing compassion, and serving. He models what it means to witness to the Good News of Jesus Christ, and he extends to each of us a personal invitation to join him: “The Joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus. Those who accept his offer of salvation are set free from sin, sorrow, inner emptiness and loneliness. With Christ joy is constantly born anew…I wish to encourage the Christian faithful to embark upon a new chapter of evangelization marked by this joy” (The Joy of the Gospel, 1).


Session 9

Witnessing Through Love

“We become fully human when we become more than human, when we let God bring us beyond ourselves in order to attain the fullest truth of our being. Here we find the source and inspiration of all our efforts at evangelization. For if we have received the love which restores meaning to our lives, how can we fail to share that love with others?”

Focus for this Session

Christ calls us to witness to the Good News through the power of love. Our witness through love draws others toward an encounter with Christ and inspires them to become more loving and caring in their own lives.


Opening Prayer

The leader invites members of the group to serve as readers.

Leader: Let us close our eyes and spend a few moments in silence to allow ourselves to become more aware of God’s presence as we gather together in Jesus’ name.

St. Paul gives us a beautiful description of love in his first letter to the Corinthians. Today we are going to use that passage as our prayer:

Reader 1: If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. (Pause.)

Reader 2: And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. (Pause.)

Reader 3: If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. (Pause.)

Reader 4: Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. (Pause.)


Reader 5: Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. (Pause.)

Reader 6: Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. (Pause.)

Leader: Gracious and loving God, help us to be patient, kind, unselfish, caring, and forgiving. Give us the courage to bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, and endure all things. Fill us with your love so that we can become witnesses of your love to other people. And we ask this through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

All: Amen.

Opening Song

“As I Have Done for You,” Dan Schutte

Living Our Witness

Share briefly your experience of putting into effect the action you chose after the last session.

Witness Story

‘Show Up with Our Yes’—Mary’s Story

A woman witnesses to the power of love in her faith, her family, her parish community and her prison ministry.

Watch the video:


Mary’s story offers a powerful example of what it means to witness through love. She begins with a profound expression of faith, when she tells us her faith “counted for almost everything” after her sudden blindness. It is evident in every word that Mary utters and every expression on her face that she loves God, and

“Before all else, the Gospel invites us to respond to the God of love who saves us, to see God in others and to go forth from ourselves to seek the good of others. Under no circumstance can this invitation be obscured!”

—Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel, 39



In The Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis offers insights into how we can look at other people with love.

• “Whenever we encounter another person in love, we learn something new about God. Whenever our eyes are opened to acknowledge the other, we grow in the light of faith and knowledge of God.”

• “If we share our lives with others and generously give of ourselves, we also have to realize that every person is worthy of our giving. Not for their physical appearance, their abilities, their language, their way of thinking, or for any satisfaction that we might receive, but rather because they are God’s handiwork, his creation. God created that person in his image, and he or she reflects something of God’s glory.”

• “Every human being is the object of God’s infinite tenderness, and he himself is present in their lives. Consequently, if I can help at least one person to have a better life, that already justifies the offering of my life.”

• “It is a wonderful thing to be God’s faithful people. We achieve fulfillment when we break down walls and our heart is filled with faces and names!”

Source: The Joy of the Gospel, 272-274

relies on God for strength. “God comes disguised as our everyday lives,” she tells us.

When Mary talks about her husband, John, and her children, we can feel the love she has for them. After she lost her sight, her husband kept assuring her that she could still function as a wife and mother. “Of course you can do this!” he insisted. His encouraging words motivated and sustained her, and she was able to take care of her family. Because of her husband’s love, Mary’s life became more than just doing what she had to do. Mary found joy in every moment and got what she calls “the greatest kick out of it that you can.”

Mary also exudes love and acceptance of herself—in spite of her physical limitations. There is no self-pity in Mary. She is firm in her resolve to live her life to the fullest as a missionary disciple of Christ.

In Session 7, we reflected on the scripture passage about the blind man who became a witness to Christ after his vision was restored. Mary’s sight was not restored but she did not become bitter or disillusioned. As she reflects on the scripture passage about the blind man, she concludes that the story is about having the faith to follow Christ—whether or not you are physically

3 SESSION 9: Witnessing through Love

healed. For Mary, following Christ means service, and it is through service that we see what a loving witness Mary has become—not just in her home but also in her faith community.

Mary doesn’t have to tell us in words that she has a deep love for the people in her parish, and we see in her story how the people of her parish receive Mary’s love and return it. She tells us that she served on the parish council, but it is through her experience as an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion that Mary touches the people of her parish in a special way.


Pope Francis recognizes that technology offers wonderful possibilities for bringing Christ’s love to others, and he urges us to use technology as another means of touching the lives of others. He warns that it is not by bombarding them with religious messages but rather by welcoming them, by paying attention to their concerns, by being present to them in the cyber community, and through our presence bringing them an experience of Christ’s love.

This use of technology for evangelization also extends to our parish community, which can reach out to others through websites, social media, text messaging, and tweets.

“Keeping the doors of our churches open also means keeping them open in the digital environment so that people, whatever their situation in life, can enter, and so that the Gospel can go out to reach everyone. We are called to show that the Church is the home of all. Are we capable of communicating the image of such a Church? Communication is a means of expressing the missionary vocation of the entire Church; today the social networks are one way to experience this call to discover the beauty of faith, the beauty of encountering Christ.

“Let us boldly become citizens of the digital world. The Church needs to be concerned for, and present in, the world of communication, in order to dialogue with people today and to help them encounter Christ. She needs to be a Church at the side of others, capable of accompanying everyone along the way. The revolution taking place in communications media and in information technologies represents a great and thrilling challenge. May we respond to that challenge with fresh energy and imagination as we seek to share with others the beauty of God” (World Communications Day Message, January 24, 2014 the Memorial of Saint Francis de Sales).


The people at the 5 p.m. Mass, at which she distributes Communion, know to put her their hand in her cupped hand so that she knows where to put the Body of Christ. Concerned that she was becoming a burden to her parish, she made an appointment to see her pastor. But her pastor assured her that her parish was “not a church of exclusion.” He told her that many parishioners had asked if other eucharistic ministers could do the same thing that Mary does when they distribute Communion. Mary became an instrument of Christ’s love to the other parishioners. They felt connected by the human touch extended when their hands were cupped in Mary’s to receive Communion.

Mary has no sight, but she has the spiritual vision to be able to see Christ in other people. She tells us that she encountered “an eloquent and a caring Christ” while praying with inmates at a local prison. If you asked the inmates, they would probably tell you that they encounter a loving and compassionate Christ in Mary—just as the people in her parish do.

Mary has discovered one of the deepest truths of the spiritual life: If you allow yourself to be filled with Christ’s love, you can radiate Christ’s love to other people. Mary sees it as part of her mission, and it started when she said yes to God.

“If you’re in love and in faith with Jesus Christ then you are part of the mission,” Mary explains. “He can do anything. God can do anything without us, but he chooses to do everything with us, and all he’s waiting for is us to show up with our ‘Yes.’”

Invitation to Share

Take a few moments of silence to reflect on one of the following questions. Then share your reflections:

1. We saw in Mary’s story how the power of God’s love, the love of her family, and the love of the people in her parish have supported and strengthened her, and have helped her to reach out in love and ministry to others. Describe how you have experienced this kind of love in your life and how it has strengthened you.

2. Mary has embraced her blindness and found ways that she can still serve God and other people in a loving way. In what ways have you accepted and overcome your limitations so that you can still serve as a missionary disciple of Christ? Are there ways that your limitations have become a gift in your own or others’ lives?

5 SESSION 9: Witnessing through Love

3. Mary sees herself as being part of the mission of Christ. In what ways have you said “yes” to being part of Christ’s mission?

Breaking Open God’s Story

The Word of God

John 13:1-17

Jesus washes the disciples’ feet

Moment of Silent Reflection

What word, phrase, or image from the scripture reading touched your heart or spoke to your life?

Invitation to Share

1. Share the word, phrase, or image from the scripture reading that touched your heart?

2. Peter felt uncomfortable when Jesus began to wash his feet. Why?

3. If you had your feet washed at the Vigil of the Lord’s Supper (Holy Thursday), share how you felt. If you washed another’s feet, share how you felt.


In today’s scripture passage, Jesus takes his disciples (and all of us) to a deeper understanding of how love and service are intertwined in the Christian life. The scene unfolds at the Last Supper. Jesus knows that the end of his time on earth is near. He is sharing what would be his last meal with his beloved disciples. As a way of showing the full measure of his love for them, Jesus stands up in the middle of the meal and announces that he is going to wash their feet.

The tradition of washing feet usually took place before dinner, when guests arrived. The roads in Palestine were dusty and dirty. A servant would cleanse the feet of guests or, in cases in which there was no servant, the guests would wash their own feet in a basin of water provided by the host.

What was surprising for the disciples was the idea that Jesus, their Lord, their master and their teacher, was going to interrupt his dinner to wash their feet would have been unthinkable.

We can imagine the disciples sitting in stunned silence, except for Peter, who immediately objected. Even after Jesus acknowledged that Peter would


not understand this now but later would grasp the full meaning of the foot washing, Peter resisted and did not relent until Jesus told him, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.’’


Jesus knew that the washing of feet would become a symbol that would be passed down throughout the centuries as the model for Christian love and service. Jesus was teaching by example how to love and how to serve.

On Holy Thursday, 2013, Pope Francis went to a prison to wash the feet of 12 men and women who are incarcerated. He started this ritual by explaining that foot washing was an example set by Our Lord. “This is a symbol, it is a sign—washing your feet means I am at your service.… So what does this mean?

That we have to help each other.… Sometimes I would get angry with someone, but we must let it go and if they ask a favor do it! Help one another. This is what Jesus teaches us. This is what I do. And I do it with my heart.... I love doing it because this is what the Lord has taught me. But you too must help us and help each other, always. And thus in helping each other we will do good for each other.… We must each one of us think, ‘Am I really willing to help others?’ Just think of that. Think that this sign is Christ’s caress, because Jesus came just for this, to serve us, to help us” (Homily, Casal del Marmo juvenile prison, Rome, March 28, 2013).

What we sometimes miss in reading this passage is the allencompassing nature of Jesus’ love. He knew that Judas would betray him, that Peter would deny him, and that the rest of the apostles—except for John—would hide in fear during the crucifixion. Still, Jesus assumed the role of a servant and washed their feet. Could we do the same? Are we filled with enough love to be able to serve people who seem undeserving or unappreciative?

After Jesus finished, he returned to the table and asked, “Do you understand what I have done for you?” There must have been dead silence in the room, because Jesus continued to explain that because he had humbled himself to wash their feet, they were called to wash the feet of others. Jesus set a powerful example for the disciples and for us. And he assures us, “If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.”

We saw an example of this kind of loving service in our Be My Witness video. Mary’s method of holding a parishioner’s hand in her own hand offers the same kind of loving touch that Jesus gave to his disciples when washing their feet. We can feel Mary’s sense of reverence in this act of

7 SESSION 9: Witnessing through Love

placing the Body of Christ into another person’s hands. We can understand why the parishioners responded so positively to Mary’s human touch. Like Mary, we are all called to share in the immense, unconditional love of Christ.

Today, Jesus is asking each one of us to allow him to minister to us. We have to be humble enough to allow our Lord and Master to touch us, to heal us, and to fill us with his love. After we have encountered Christ in this powerful way, we have to reach out to others—touching them, healing them and serving them. We have to allow Christ’s love to flow through us so that


As missionary disciples, ministering to others can take many different forms, and we have to trust that the Lord will work through all of our efforts. A RENEW small community from Indiana shared this story:

“The message of Jesus rang loud and clear as we read the Scripture and discussed the love of Jesus for the poor and the marginalized. As a result of our conversation on the Gospel, our small groups have volunteered and given resources to the food pantry and Mother Teresa’s Treasure. Families have been helped in times of crisis, and single mothers have received relief from their burdens. A Hispanic family has been helped with the legalities of becoming citizens of the United States. Fresh tomatoes were donated to the food pantry.

“One hour after returning from the food pantry, a young woman called the parish office. She was crying. She stated that she had three fresh tomatoes sitting in front of her. She had not tasted a home- grown tomato in three years. She proclaimed, ‘I want to be part of any church that would reach out to me with a fresh tomato.’ She ultimately moved to downtown Evansville and entered the RCIA process at a local parish and became a Catholic. How humbling.”

We may protest and plead ignorance on the subject of how to evangelize, and in this case a tomato did it. Each one of us is called to warm hearts and stir faith by simple acts of kindness and works of mercy. The witness of our lives steeped in faith and reflected in acts of love is the only antidote to the sterility of secularism, the numbness of consumerism, and the allure of sin. We will become a church capable of warming hearts only when we open our stony hearts to the Sacred Heart of Christ and allow the fire of his deep abiding love for us to soften and reshape our heart into his own.”


others can be filled with his love. And we have to allow the love of Christ in others to touch each one of us.

Invitation to Share

Take a few minutes of silence to reflect on one of the following questions. Then share your reflection.

1. Jesus moved out of his role as master and teacher to become a servant who washed the feet of his disciples. When have you seen someone witness through love?

“Jesus came to show the love which God has for us. For you … for me. It is a love which is powerful and real. It is a love which takes seriously the plight of those he loves. It is a love which heals, forgives, raises up and shows concern. It is a love which draws near and restores dignity. We can lose this dignity in so many ways. But Jesus is stubborn: he gave his very life to restore the identity we had lost, to clothe us with all his strength of dignity.”

—Pope Francis, Reform Center of Santa Cruz-Palmasola, Bolivia, July 10 2015

2. Share about a time when you were ministered to by someone else. How did you feel? Were you embarrassed? How did the person ministering to you reassure you? Jesus knows that he will be betrayed, denied, and abandoned by the disciples, and yet he still washed their feet in an act of unconditional love. What experiences have you had of serving people who are undeserving or unappreciative of your loving service? What motivated you to love and serve these people?

Invitation to Act

Sharing and being together in a small Christian community fosters an active and personal experience in which the Good News is shared, experienced, and applied to daily life. Our communal sharing is incomplete without a serious commitment to putting our faith into practice. In this session we have reflected on the social dimension of the Gospel. How does this inspire us to act? The following are examples.

1. Look for loving acts of service that take place in your family, your neighborhood, at work, at school, or in your parish. Write them down in your journal.

2. Find a new way to help your parish become more inclusive of people with disabilities in the life and ministry of the community.

3. Get into a routine of checking on an elderly neighbor at least once a week.

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4. Do some research on hunger in your community. Learn how your local food bank supplies food through local food pantries and soup kitchens. Ask what you can do to help.

5. Show through an act of service the extent of your love for someone who may not deserve or appreciate your kindness.

6. Find out how you can become involved or supportive of your local prison ministry or help the families of those who are imprisoned.

7. Visit and share Mary’s story, “Show Up With Our Yes,” with a family member or friend.

Closing Prayer

Leader: There is a long tradition in the Catholic Church of using our imagination in prayer. St. Ignatius of Loyola incorporated imagination as a key component in his Spiritual Exercises. Today we will use a prayer of the imagination as our closing prayer. We are going to frame our meditation around the words in the Fourth Eucharistic Prayer of the Mass: “For when the hour had come for him to be glorified by you, Father most holy, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.”

I am going to ask you get into a comfortable position and close your eyes. Take a deep breath in and out…. in and out.… Now imagine that you are on an elevator going down into the deepest part of yourself. (Short pause.)

When the doors open, you are in a meadow. The sun is shining, and in the distance you see a fountain. Walk over to the fountain. Notice how the water is soft and falls more like snow than like rain. I want you to imagine that you are stepping into the fountain. How does the water feel? Is it warm and soothing? Or is it cool and refreshing? (Short pause.)

Now I want you to imagine that this is a fountain of God’s love pouring down on you. If there is something in your life that is troubling you or something you feel anxious or worried about, ask God to wash it away with his love. (Short pause.)

Now one by one bring into the fountain the people in your life who need to experience the Good News of Christ. Ask God to pour his love on these people. (Long pause).

Now bring into the fountain the people you know who are sick and need to experience the God’s healing power. (Long pause).


Now bring into the fountain all of the people you love and care about. Ask God to shower his love on the people you love. Ask God to strengthen their faith. (Long pause).

You are alone in the fountain again. Ask the Lord to strengthen your faith. (Short pause). Ask the Lord to give you the courage you need to become Good News for others. (Short pause).

Now I want you to cup your hands and imagine that you are filling them with water from the fountain. Drink the water and feel God’s love flow through you. (Pause). You are completely surrounded and completely filled with God’s love. (Pause). Maybe you want to take a moment to thank God for all of the good things he has given you. (Pause).

It’s almost time to go. If there’s anything else you want to say to God, do say it now. (Pause).

Now step out of the fountain..... We’re going to come back up to the surface, but you are different now. You have experienced God’s love. You are carrying God’s love inside of you. You can be an instrument of God’s love to other people. (Short pause.) You can wash their feet. (Short pause.)

Take a deep breath in.... and out.... and in.... and out. (Pause.) When you’re ready, you can open your eyes.

Looking Ahead

Prepare for the next session by prayerfully reading and studying:

• Session 10, “Making Others Feel Welcome”

• Mark 6:30-44

• Watch the video for Session 10: “I’m Glad You’re Back”—Fran’s Story

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Please read Chapter 4, “The Social Dimension of Evangelization,” in The Joy of the Gospel (Evangelii Gaudium) by Pope Francis. Then write your responses to the following questions. The Joy of the Gospel is available online at: http://

• Francis describes “going forth from ourselves towards our brothers and sisters” as an absolute priority of the Gospel. How do you extend yourself to others? How do you extend yourself to those who are poor or vulnerable?

• Francis writes about the peace building, the need for unity, and seeking the common good. How do you contribute to these efforts? What more can you do?

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