The call to a ‘New Evangelisation’ represents the need to proclaim the Good News of the Gospel, the message and person of Jesus Christ, with new ardour or passion, by new methods and through new expressions. As Pope Francis declares in the Bull of Indiction that inaugurated this Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, we enter “a new phase of evangelisation that [has] existed from the beginning” (MV 4).
Indeed, in an address to the bishops of Brazil, Pope Francis noted, “ours is not an age of change, but a change of age”, including the reality of Catholics who no longer join our parishes for worship, discipleship and nourishment for mission in the world. The Pontiff declared, “We need a Church capable of meeting them on their way. We need a Church capable of entering into their conversation. We need a Church able to dialogue with those disciples who, having left Jerusalem behind, are wandering aimlessly, alone, with their own disappointment, disillusioned by a Christianity now considered barren, fruitless soil, incapable of generating meaning”.
The call to a New Evangelisation also inspires us to reach out to others who have not encountered the Good News of the Gospel, revealing the face of Christ as the mystery of God’s mercy made available to all.
In the spirit of Pope Francis, PROCLAIM 2016 seeks to return to the basics of our mission, to the alluring joy and the tender mercy of the Gospel which overcomes everything. The conference seeks to support local parishes to proclaim this Gospel with renewed confidence, fresh ideas and the best practices of evangelisation from around Australia and abroad.