Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Book Review Saint Paul and the New Evangelization

I have turned to the writings of St. Paul again and again throughout my years in ministry. Like me St. Paul had to deal with faith, doubt, problems, pains, debate, and conflict. Ask any priest and they'll tell you the same thing; parish ministry aint' easy!

Liturgical Press just published a small but important book on the writings of St. Paul, focusing on the intersection of his writings and ministry and the New Evangelization. The book is called Saint Paul and the New Evangelization (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2013). Father Ronald D. Witherup is the author and the supervisor general of the Sulpicians. Don't let the small size of this book deter you from reading it. This book is aimed at priests and lay leaders who want a fresh perspective on evangelization and parish renewal. Winthrup includes not only short passages from St. Paul but also important Vatican documents regarding our life in faith. It also includes a detailed appendix of these documents and what they cover.

Before reading don't think that Fr. Winthrup suggests that we go door to door seeking new catechumens. However, Winthrup does suggest that we take our faith seriously and that when each of us renews our faith in a very personal way then we can be formed and equipped to share our faith with others when the time is right.

Withrup also suggests that we all turn again to the writings of St. Paul as a way to renew this faith but also to see how both he and the early Christians engaged in ministry and evangelization. I envision that this book could be a study guide or at least a resource for parish leadership teams as they continue to work and persevere in the New Evangelization. As Jesus says the fields are ripe for the harvest and he sends his disciples out to reap some of that fruit. He sends us out just like his sent his disciples out as a way to preach the gospel and bring the good news to the world wherever we find ourselves. We don't have to go far either, the fields are right in front of us, we just have to have eyes to see and ears to hear.

For more information about Saint Paul and the New Evangelization click here