Brian Pizzalato, a staff member of the archdiocesan Office of Parish Services who focuses on liturgy and faith formation, presented a primer on the church and evangelization to Faith Formation Day attendees.
As part of his presentation, he highlighted the “three essential elements” to effective evangelization.
- Wordless witness
In his apostolic exhortation “Evangelii Nuntiandi” (On Evangelization in the Modern World), Pope Paul VI noted that “modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses.”
- Word-filled witness
“Nevertheless,” Pope Paul said in “Evangelii Nuntiandi,” wordless witness “always remains insufficient, because even the finest witness will prove ineffective in the long run if it is not explained, justified — what Peter called always having ‘your answer ready for people who ask you the reason for the hope that you all have’ — and made explicit by a clear and unequivocal proclamation of the Lord Jesus.”
- Person-to-person witness
“Besides public and collective proclamation of the Gospel, person-to-person contact, after the example of Jesus and the Apostles, remains indispensable,” according to the General Directory of Catechesis. We must seek out people we know and show them the love of Christ that is deep in our hearts and what he has to offer, Pizzalato said.