The Joy of the Gospel for Australians – Reflections on Pope Francis’ first Apostolic Exhortation from leaders of the Church

Media Release, 26 November, 2013

The Joy of the Gospel for Australians – Reflections on Pope Francis’ first Apostolic Exhortation from leaders of the Church

“The joy of the Gospel is for all people: no one can be excluded.” (EG23)

Challenging all Christians to joyfully share Christ’s love with others is the essence of Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), Pope Francis’ first Apostolic Exhortation. Released only hours ago, the conversational teaching document guides and shapes evangelisation and provides “practical implications for the Church’s mission today” (EG18).

Incorporating the Synod on New Evangelisation and his Latin American roots, Pope Francis welcomes all those who “no longer experience the consolation born of faith” and recognises all who express their commitment and beliefs in different ways. “We need to move from a pastoral ministry of mere conservation to a decidedly missionary pastoral ministry” (EG15).

Catholic Mission and Catholic Religious Australia’s Mission Network have partnered to address the opportunities and challenges Evangelii Gaudium presents to Australians living and leading mission across ministries. They have brought together 12 Catholic Australian leaders from multiple sectors to contribute their reflections and will publish these in a book, scheduled for release in mid-December 2013.
Divine Word Missionaries Provincial, Fr Tim Norton SVD is one of the contributors and writes: “This is an exciting opportunity to reflect and respond to Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation, particularly in an Australian context. Some of the challenges before us, especially in multi-cultural Australian parishes, are uniquely ours and the Pope’s message is a clear guide to how we can proceed in a wholesome, life giving way that encompasses everyone.”

The book is only the first step planned in bringing the document to life and assisting Australians in making Pope Francis’ words realised. The start of the 2014 new year will see one day colloquiums held across the country, inviting participants not only to learn from the document, but also to implement its teachings in their lives. Additionally, a national conference will bring the country together for a multi-sector dialogue on mission and evangelisation in May 2015.

Catholic Mission’s National Director Martin Teulan is enthusiastic about the project and the opportunities it will provide Australians to reflect on their role in mission and evangelisation. “The Pope’s enthusiasm is infectious and we greatly appreciate the opportunity to share and contribute to this timely document. Pope Francis’ message is clear: “An evangelising community gets involved…Throughout the world, let us be in a permanent state of mission.” (EG24,25).”

For more information and all media enquiries, please contact Mr Martin Teulan on 02 9919 7800 or 0408 867 046.