In 2013 Pope Francis wrote Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel) Within the document, Pope Francis encourages every Christian to rediscover the joy of a personal encounter with Jesus and to engage with renewed vigour in the mission of spreading that joy of the Gospel and becoming spirit-filled evangelizers.
It is fair to say that Evangelii Gaudium is quickly gaining its place among some of the most powerful and inspiring papal documents. To understand Pope Francis’ plan for the church you really should read this document. It has therefore been decided by the ‘Our Lady of the Valley Evangelisation team’ (aka The 99 Group) to hold a series of meetings to examine the fundamental aspects of the document.
For those not familiar with the 99 Group, this is a parish group set up eighteen months ago, at the request of the diocese, to promote evangelisation at the parish level. Since our formation we have been meeting regularly and with similar parish groups to discuss aspects of evangelisation.
The one hour study sessions will take place on the 4th and the 11th of November, the 3rd and the 17th of February, and the 2nd and 9th of March, from 7.30pm to 8.30pm. Light refreshments will be provided fifteen minutes before each session commences. Booklets will be provided that will enable us to read through a summary of each chapter per session. We will pause periodically to discuss what we have just read and share experiences related to our own lives. These meetings will be similar to the three highly successful Proclaim 15 sessions held in March.
As the Pope states; “I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them; I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day. No one should think that this invitation is not meant for him or her, since no one is excluded from the joy brought by the Lord” [EG 3]
So please do come along, one and all, so that we as a Christian community can listen to Pope Francis’ words and discuss ways that we can embark upon a new chapter of evangelization marked by the joy of Christ.
Michael Smith, Our Lady of the Valley 99 Group