Evangelization Council’s Pilot Project Under Way This Lent

ROME, FEB. 22, 2012 (Zenit.org).- During Lent, 12 European dioceses are participating in a special new evangelization project. The effort comes as a way to prepare for the October synod of bishops on this theme.
Mission Metropolis is the name of what is considered as a pilot program and it is the first major initiative of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization, which Benedict XVI established in 2010.

In England, Liverpool is the city selected for the Lenten program and Monsignor Peter Fleetwood, who is the parish priest of Saint Joseph’s Blundellsands, was interviewed on Tuesday by Vatican Radio about what is going to happen.

Liverpool, he explained, has the densest Catholic population of any area in the country. In recent times, however, Mass attendances are dropping fast, and so this might be the reason why the city was chosen.
“The evangelization that happened a long time ago needs to be redone,” he said, with new energy and new methods.

As to what exactly the new evangelization is Monsignor Fleetwood explained that the content is not new: “… we remain committed to the Church and to the Gospel and to the person of Jesus.”
The new evangelization, “…is the action of the Good Shepherd who’s recognized that some of the sheep have wandered off and all it would take would be an invitation or a stratagem to invite them back in a convincing way.”

The other cities taking part are Barcelona, Budapest, Dublin, Frankfurt, Lisbon, Mechelen-Bruxelles, Paris, Turin, Vienna, Warsaw and Zagreb.

Conversations
The local theme in Liverpool will be “Journey and Conversations,” according to a Jan. 29 press release from the archdiocese. In it the city’s archbishop, Patrick Kelly, referred to the conversation Jesus had with the Samaritan woman at the well. “The conversation enabled her to begin a new life, to appreciate what prayer and worship can be, and to acclaim that Jesus ‘is truly the Saviour of the world,'” he said.

“Seize every opportunity for a Lenten journey rich in conversation with the Lord,” he urged.

Archbishop Kelly will preside at Solemn Mass and Choral Evening Prayer at Liverpool’s Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King on each of the Sundays during Lent, according to the press release.

The cathedral will also have extra times dedicated to the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Eucharistic adoration on Saturday afternoons. And on each Saturday evening during Lent at 9 p.m. there will be a Vigil Service of the sung Office of Readings with a reflection by Archbishop Kelly on the Vigil Gospel.

Other events during Lent include a performance of the “Via Crucis” by Liszt with reflections by Archbishop Kelly at the cathedral March 31, the eve of Palm Sunday. At the parish level there will be Lenten talks, reflections, services and devotions including many early morning Masses at least once a week.

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