Celebration to mark anniversary of Evangelii Nuntiandi

 A celebration will take place in Westminster tomorrow to mark the 30th anniversary of Pope Paul VI's encyclical: Evangelii Nuntiandi (On Evangelisation in the Modern World) Before the main event, a mission team will be leading an 'outreach event' in the Cathedral Piazza, using music and drama. In the evening, hundreds of guests have been invited to attend a special gathering hosted by Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, to reflect on a document which is widely regarded as being the most influential and inspirational teaching document on the contemporary mission of the Church. Cardinal Cormac said: "Evangelii Nuntiandi made clear that the Church evangelises when she seeks to convert, solely through the Divine Power of the Message she proclaims. Thirty years later, its challenge to our Church in England and Wales is more pressing than ever. How can we liberate that hidden energy of the Good News, which is able to have a powerful effect on people's conscience? What methods should be followed in order that the power of the Gospel may have its effect? I hope this anniversary will lead us all back to that remarkable document, to hear its invitation, and to be converted to mission and proclamation." Mgr Keith Barltrop, director of the Catholic Agency to Support Evangelisation (CASE) who co-organised the event with the Sion Community, said: "The whole point of Vatican II was to enable the Church to evangelise more effectively, and Evangelii Nuntiandi spells that out. We have hardly begun to see what it means. I encourage individual parishes to use this timely anniversary to look again at this remarkable document and to respond afresh in these times. CASE is here to support you in this important task." Michelle Moran, a founding member of the Sion Community said: "The thirtieth anniversary is a celebration of the Church becoming more aware of its fundamental calling and it prompts us to continue to embrace the challenges of reaching out to individuals, society and today's contemporary culture. Over the last 30 years we have seen evangelisation become more of a user-friendly word in the Church and now we need to continue to make it a reality." The organisers say they hope the anniversary will encourage Catholics to take a fresh look at the mission of the Church, to celebrate how prophetic the vision of Pope Paul has been and look to how it can be applied in future. A number of evangelisation groups and initiatives will have stalls at the event. A copy of Evangelii Nuntiandi can be found at: www.ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/P6EVAN.HTM

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