Jesuit Superior General on the New Evangelization

Jesuit Father General Adolfo NicolásJesuit Father General Adolfo Nicolás, superior general of the Society of Jesus, recently spoke about the new evangelization, or missionary outreach, to the 25th Synod of Bishops. The synod brought together over 250 top church leaders for a three-week summit at the Vatican.

Father General Nicolás told the synod that the Ignatian spirituality he was formed in encourages finding God in all things.

“I am afraid that we missionaries have not done it with sufficient depth,” he said.  Father General Nicolas also spoke about the need to enrich the universal church with the signs and seeds of God’s presence in other cultures and religions.

Father General Nicolás, who spent most of his priesthood in Japan and in other parts of Asia, said too many church members have “looked for Western signs of faith and sanctity and have not discovered how God has been at work in other peoples. This impoverishes all. We miss important clues, insights and discoveries,” he said.

“The fullness of Christ needs the contribution of all peoples and all cultures,” Father General Nicolás said. He said some of the keys to effective evangelization include:

  • The simplicity of the message.
  • Generosity in acknowledging the work of God in the life and history of people.
  • Being aware of one’s own life as a factor of credibility.
  • Forgiveness and reconciliation are the most helpful shortcuts to the heart of the Gospel.

Read the full text of Father General Nicolás’s remarks and learn more about the synod from this Catholic News Service report.

One Response to “Jesuit Superior General on the New Evangelization”

  • William Horan:

    The New Evangelization and the Poor
    We cannot solve the problems of the New Evangelization without the help of the poor. Cardinal Claudio Hummes gives us some direction when he states: “A servant church must have as its priority solidarity with the poor,” he said. “The faith must express itself in charity and in solidarity, which is the civil form of charity,” Hummes said.
    “Today more than ever, the church faces this challenge. In fact, effective solidarity with the poor, both individual persons and entire nations, is indispensable for the construction of peace. Solidarity corrects injustices, reestablishes the fundamental rights of persons and of nations, overcomes poverty and even resists the revolt that injustice provokes, eliminating the violence that is born with revolt and constructing peace.”
    May I suggest a way to practice this “solidarity” here in the USA:
    A “preferential option for the poor” should be maintained in our Catholic Schools. If we find that we cannot afford to keep our schools open to the poor, the schools should be closed and the resources used for something else which can be kept open to the poor. We cannot allow our Church to become a church primarily for the middle-class and rich while throwing a bone to the
    poor. The priority should be given to the poor even if we have to let the middle-class and rich fend for themselves.
    Practically speaking, the Catholic Schools must close and the resources used for “Confraternity of Christian Doctrine” and other programs which can be kept open to the poor. Remember, the Church managed without Catholic
    Schools for centuries. We can get along without them today. The essential factor is to cultivate enough Faith to act in the Gospel Tradition, namely, THE POOR GET PRIORITY. The rich and middle-class are welcome too. But the poor come first. (William Horan — w.horan@comcast.net.)