Evangelization is more effective when it is carried out with oneness of spirit and with sincere teamwork among the various ecclesial communities as well as among missionaries and local clergy: this requires courage to seek out ways of working together and offering mutual help in the areas of catechesis and catholic education, as well as integral human development and charity.
~Pope Francis, September 21, 2014, Vespers
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Holy Family Sunday, December 28, 2014, is the appropriate occasion to announce a four-year plan (2015-2018) or “springboard” for Evangelization and Renewal efforts in the Diocese of Brooklyn, named The Joy of Encountering Christ-The Family’s Hope. As we prepare to participate in the Eighth World Meeting of Families with Pope Francis in Philadelphia during September of 2015, the Diocesan School of Evangelization created this process to serve as a “springboard”, that is to say a collection of events, resources, and practical ideas to assist parishes, families, and individuals in their effort to know Christ and His Church more firmly and love Christ and His Church more deeply. With gratitude and thanks to many, I am aware and readily affirm all of the wonderful ways that evangelization and renewal are already occurring in Brooklyn and Queens, all of the many and varied ways that we have already “put out into the deep”.
Whether you are seeking God for the first time, are an inactive Catholic or an active Catholic, or even a missionary disciple, The Joy of Encountering Christ-The Family’s Hope offers opportunities to learn more about the Catholic faith though faith formation courses online. They are also offered locally for all age groups, small group gatherings such as Living the Eucharist and Bible Study, annual Convocations or congresses. By actively joining in the celebration of the Mass, always at the heart of an evangelizing parish, the Sacraments, Holy Hours, novenas, processions, retreats and days/evenings of reflection, and other liturgical practices already taking place in parishes and schools/academies in Brooklyn and Queens, we grow in our love for and knowledge of Christ and His Church and invite others to do the same. As baptized Catholics, called to be missionary disciples, our goal is to be a bearer of the Good News found in the Gospels, as well as active evangelizers of our Catholic faith.
I encourage you to read The Joy of Encountering Christ–The Family’s Hope carefully, and begin to consider how you will seek to or continue to encounter Christ beginning today. Located also on this website is the latest edition of the School of Evangelization Guidebook. Find a parish or become reconnected with your parish, join a group in your parish, develop a family faith plan, reflect on what will benefit your relationship with our loving God, or seek other ways to begin or enhance your relationship with God. Whatever you choose to do, you may be assured that God will bless you.
Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Ph.D., D.D.
Bishop of Brooklyn
Year One Annual Report Summary for The Joy of Encountering Christ: It is evident that we as individuals, parishes, and the Diocese of Brooklyn experienced tremendous spiritual growth and deeper faith formation during the past year. Feel free to share this report by placing it in your bulletin and on your website, or in any other way that you find helpful. Download the Report