Some inspiring quotes from our own bishops:
“I congratulate everyone who has been involved in setting up CASE and wish it every success. Please support the Agency's endeavours with your prayers. Its work is the work of the whole Catholic community.”
"I think everyone's convinced about the importance of adult formation and evangelisation, but we're not always clear about the difference between them. An important first step in progress in this area is to examine carefully what we mean by evangelisation. I am confident that the work of CASE will be of great assistance to us all."
"When the opportunity arose to use a redundant school building to provide accommodation for our various diocesan offices, but also a conference centre, I called it: the Liverpool Archdiocesan Centre for Evangelisation. I am convinced: everything we do must have the focus: evangelisation. In that same spirit, three areas of the diocese are about to set out on a journey to discern what patterns of life and ministry are needed as we face a different future. One area has at its heart a major hospital and a prison, a second has a massive concentration of schools and colleges, a third is home to many whose work involves them in the city of Manchester. Unless we realise that the church is sent by the Lord not for its own sake but in order to share the Good News with all creation, we are not open to what the spirit is saying to the Churches. Evangelisation is the essential key in these journeys of discernment."
"When a Bishop is ordained it has been the custom from the earliest centuries for two Deacons to hold the Book of the Gospels over the head of the new Bishop during the prayer of Consecration as a sign that the Bishop's chief work is to proclaim the Good News. We all share in this task. Paul VI wrote in ‘ Evangelii Nuntiandi ´ "The Church exists in order to evangelise" and called it "our basic duty". The present Holy Father called it "our obligation of love". In our secular society this must be our chief task and I am delighted that CASE is there to help us. May we work together so that the Gospel may live again in our land."
“Pope Paul VI in Evangelii Nuntiandi said very simply and clearly: ‘The Church exists in order to evangelise'. (EN14) Our Christian communities exist because we have heard the Good News proclaimed by Jesus. We are the fruit of evangelisation and we celebrate the presence of our living Lord in our liturgy. We are called to live what we believe and in this way transform the world of which we are part. Today we are entrusted with the good news about the Kingdom of God so that those who feel afflicted in their lives and in their relationships can find freedom and those who are oppressed can be given justice. We are to be a people of hope. Evangelisation is the central mission of the Church in general and of individual Christians in particular.”
"The Diocese of East Anglia is currently exploring ways to move 'Forward and Outward Together'. As I launched the process in 2003, I wrote: "We are sent forth with the power of the Holy Spirit to be evangelising communities, and any renewal of our parish and deanery structures must always have that as its first priority. The Risen Jesus has given every parish their 'mission statement': 'As the Father sent me, so am I sending you'; 'You are to be my witnesses... to the ends of the earth.' We are to be apostle communities, fired with the Spirit of Pentecost.' As we move outward together, I am delighted we will be able to work in partnership with the new Catholic Agency to Support Evangelisation."
“Our first duty as Christians is to share the love and truth of Jesus Christ with all among whom we live and work. We can only do this effectively if we not only know about Jesus Christ with our heads but truly believe in him and love him in our hearts. Once we have grown to know and love Jesus Christ as our friend, we shall be able to live a full Christian life with increasing joy. It is this witness which is crucial in drawing others to know and love Jesus, but we must also be able to give an account of our faith in language intelligible to our contemporaries in whatever culture in which we live.”
'The three main priorities for mission are:
We must be a people of PRAYER.
The first priority of the mission of the Church is to give "glory to God in the highest heaven."
We must be a people PREPARED.
The second priority of the mission of the Church is to be prepared to "go out to the whole world".
We must be a people who PROCLAIM.
The third priority of mission is to proclaim by word and action:
"Do whatever he tells you!"
This sums up Salford 's engagement in evangelisation at the present and for the future.'
(Taken from the first part of Salford 's "Faith in the Future" consultation).
'Perhaps the greatest challenge facing the Church today is to discover
a language by which the magnalia Dei can be communicated intelligibly
and cogently to a population, of which Catholics form a part, which has
lost its grasp on the Christian faith and any real understanding of traditional
religious language. If we do not search for relevance and for the necessity
of meeting people in the Areopagus, as Pope John Paul describes
our modern world, then we run the risk of endlessly talking to ourselves,
whilst "the hungry sheep look up" - uncomprehendingly - "and
are not fed." The Word is continually being made flesh in word and
in life and it is our task as Church to find new ways of communicating the
Gospel of Christ to the waiting world. This, in a nutshell, is what evangelisation
is all about.'
"CASE's remit is to promote and evaluate methods and means of evangelisation. All of us need all the help we can get if we are to answer adequately the challenge to evangelise which is placed upon us as the gathered body of the disciples of Christ."
"Pope John Paul asked me only one question last October during our Bishops’ visit to Rome. But it was a question that went to the heart of the matter – ‘have you many conversions?’For me, it echoed Our Lady’s request to Bernadette for prayer and penance – as disciples of Jesus, we are called to turn to the Father every day, so that we, in our turn, can help others find their true centre in Jesus.The Church exists to be attractive – to attract men and women to the beauty of God’s love for them. This is the work of the Spirit.The Spirit works through human channels – and so I am happy to endorse what Case is setting out to do in serving us all in the work of evangelisation.
The words of St. Paul to his people at Corinth can inspire us today:
‘Never give in then, my brothers and sisters, never admit defeat: keep on working at the Lord’s work always, knowing that, in the Lord, you cannot be labouring in vain."(1 Cor. 15, 58)
“Our task is not to evangelise a world which has passed and gone, but the world today in which God is present, waiting for us to announce the Good News of this presence. The urgent need for our Church is that it engages with the culture of our society. As CASE takes up this challenge it has my prayers and best wishes.”
“The task of proclaiming the Gospel today is as challenging and complex as ever. The patterns of understanding and right living given to us in the Gospel are increasingly distinct from those commonly found in our society. But that does not mean that the Holy Spirit is not at work in every place. The challenge before us is to respond to that widespread presence of the Spirit, to identify the seeds of goodness, to present the invitation of knowing Christ, both personally and in a community, and so to draw those we meet into the fullness of life. I am pleased to encourage CASE in its launch and in its work.”
"CASE’s mission is in full harmony with pastoral outreach programmes in the Church of the Armed Forces. For, military chaplains practice an All Souls Ministry, which pitches them into contact with people of all faiths and even of none. By word and sacrament, often far from home, where familiar structures are no longer available, and taking account of surrounding cultures, priests are challenged to make Church in ever new and unusual circumstances. Following Saint Paul, their policy is to be omnia ad omnes, whilst preserving the integrity of their own Church’s teaching and practice. As evangelizers, they attempt to bring light into darkness, to set signs of hope for preace, and to assure healing in a broken and troubled world. CASE can help to advance these missionary endeavours to put out further into unchartered waters.”
“Evangelisation is our business. It requires not so much that we do different things but that we do things differently – recognizing the potential in all that we do for restoring sight or rendering blindness more permanent.”
“In the Diocese of Hallam, our recent Diocesan Assembly was centred around the themes of Discipleship and Mission. They are at the heart of evangelization and I do welcome the setting up of the new Catholic Agency to Support Evangelisation. But I recognize that its work can only bear fruit if it is based in dialogue with all those who it seeks to support. I very much look forward to that dialogue.”
' "Go and make disciples of all nations” (Mt 28:19). This final command of the Lord defines us as Church – who we are, what we are about. In our complex world, we need to find new ways of passing on the timeless truth of the good news of God’s love for us in Jesus Christ. I warmly welcome the CASE initiative, which will surely be a valuable resource for the Church in this country, as we seek to fulfil our mission in fresh and imaginative ways.'
“Evangelisation is an ‘off-putting’ word – too long and too fancy! However, the range of activities, all of which in one way or another promote the gospel in our society cannot be lacking from the life of the Church without the Church herself failing in her major task in presenting the face of Jesus. CASE is there to help us do that and it is a most welcome support and resource.”
"This is the best time to be a Christian, to be a priest, because it is our time: it is the only time we have, the only opportunity we will get, the time of which we were made. Let us reach out to those who hunger and thirst for justice, to those who seek meaning for their lives. If we grasp the opportunity together, then we will not fail those who need to hear the Word of God and receive the Holy Spirit. May God bless our work and bring it to fulfillment.”
“Taken from the Archbishop’s installation homily, December 8th, 2003.”
Rt Rev Mark Jabalé, Bishop of Menevia
“I wholeheartedly encourage CASE in all its endeavours and feel that, in these times which are marked by secularisation and materialism, it's work is vital in helping priests and all the Catholic Community to spread the Word.”