"The task of every Catholic is to evangelise"

 Members of the Catholic community must be actively involved in evangelisation if they are to call themselves faithful followers of Jesus and his Church - so said the Rt Rev Crispian Hollis, Bishop of Portsmouth, this week. Bishop Crispian's comments come in the final run up to Home Mission Sunday, 19 September, and aims to encourage all Catholics to pray for and support financially the work of evangelisation in England and Wales. Bishop Hollis said: "I don't think we have a choice as to whether we are into evangelisation or not. If we want to be faithful to what Christ wants for his Church, then without a shadow of doubt we have got to proclaim and be the Good News for our time. Pure and simple, the task of every Catholic is to fulfil this call as best they can - the call given by Christ to his disciples - which involves all the baptised. The mission to the disciples is simple, that we all have to go out to the whole world and proclaim the Good News. Nowhere is that more important than where we find ourselves in our own country today". Bishop Hollis added: "If we are not involved in evangelisation and mission we are missing out on the essential quality in Christ's plan for his Church. The bottom line is, that if we are not involved, we are not Church as Christ intended it to be. However, it is a work that not only needs activism, but prayer and financial support. Those who are a little older and do not perhaps feel active enough to engage in the practical proclamation of the Gospel can have precisely that essential task". Home Mission Sunday is resourced by the Catholic Agency to Support Evangelisation (CASE) which serves both the local and national Church. The theme of this year's event is 'Stewards of the Gospel'. Every parish in England and Wales has been sent free packs which include numerous resources for the liturgy, the latest Catholic Enquiry Office materials which are hot off the press, and a variety of publicity and evangelisation materials. Mgr Keith Barltrop, Director of CASE said: "The sick and the needy will always be knocking on our doors, but what about those who seek God, maybe without knowing it? Unless we have a plan of evangelisation, they will die of the cold. On Home Mission Sunday please help CASE to enthuse and support Catholics in England and Wales to offer the Gospel using all the new means and methods of expression that are available." CASE was launched by the Bishops of England and Wales earlier this year to support and resource dioceses, parishes, schools, groups and individuals in proclaiming the Good News. The annual second parish collection taken on this day will directly support its work. All the Agency's resources can be accessed for free from the downloads page of the CASE website at: www.caseresources.org.uk CASE also runs the Catholic Enquiry Office and is offering parishes new materials and contact cards for the benefit of non-Catholic enquirers. The Catholic Enquiry Office website can be found at: www.life4seekers.co.uk

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