02 September 2016, The Tablet

Cardinal Wuerl gives advice on evangelisation amid ‘cultural tsunami’ of secularism

The cardinal was speaking to delegates at Proclaim 2016 in Sydney

The qualities necessary for being a successful evangelist today include courage, confidence, a sense of urgency and joy, according to Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl.

Speaking to delegates at Proclaim 2016 – the three-day evangelisation conference in Sydney – the cardinal said the responsibility of parish renewal “falls to us. It’s our turn now”.

“The parish is not an outdated institution,” he said, addressing Catholics gathered at Chatswood for workshops and talks on the theme of the new evangelisation. “When the parish encourages its members to be evangelisers it can become a centre of constant missionary outreach.”

But before Christians are able to share their faith, Weurl added, they must be “renewed”. “Firstly, we need to allow ourselves time in prayer with the spirit. Secondly, we need to stand confidently in the truth, and thirdly, we must have the desire to share our faith as an evangelising disciple.”

Speaking about the challenges for parish evangelisation, Cardinal Wuerl said that secularism in America was like “a cultural tsunami”. “It is against this background, this diminished experience of faith that Pope Francis calls us to the new evangelisation,” he said.

The term ‘new evangelisation’ was coined by Pope John Paul II in 1979.

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