What does “Evangelii Gaudium” mean?
It is Latin for “The Joy of the Gospel.” These are first two words of the document itself. The
complete first sentence is: “THE JOY OF THE GOSPEL fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus.”
What is an “apostolic exhortation”?
It’s a papal document that exhorts people to implement particular aspects of the Church’s life and teaching. Its purpose is not to teach new doctrine, but to show how Church teachings and practices can be applied today.
What level of authority does an apostolic exhortation have?
It is one of the more important papal documents, more important, for example, than a Wednesday
audience or a homily. Because it is of a pastoral nature rather than a doctrinal or legal nature, it is ranked lower than an encyclical or an apostolic
constitution. But as with everything official that the pope writes, it is to be taken very seriously.
Why did Pope Francis write Evangelii Gaudium?
He wrote it in follow-up to the most recent meeting of the Synod of Bishops, which took place in October, 2012. The Synod was devoted to the subject of the new evangelization.
Papal documents are usually drafted by a committee. With this document, however, Pope Francis was closely involved because he cares very strongly about evangelization. It is one of the highest priorities of his pontificate.
There are 288 paragraphs/sections in the 91-page document. They contain plenty of materials for our meditation. Read some quotes worth noting:
is a movement of the Catholic Church which, by means of a specified method, makes it possible for people to live what is fundamental for being a Christian, and to live it together. It helps people discover and fulfill their personal vocations.
It promotes the creation of core groups of Christians who leaven their environment with the Gospel.
The movement begins with a three-day experience of living Christianity - a "cursillo" (Spanish for "short courses) on Catholic doctrine presented in an environment of Christian community. The three days include daily mass, communion and visit to the Blessed Sacrament.
The 3-day weekend starts on Thursday evening and ends on Sunday evening. During the three days those attending live and work together listening to talks given by priests and laypersons, and participate in small group discussions.
The talks include topics which deal with life,
the Christian ideal, the Catholic faith and a method to bring Christ into the modern world.
The movement continues with a method of working together to bring other men and
women to know and love Christ by forming small support groups which are joined to a larger Christ-centered community.
Letter from then Archbishop of Buenos Aires Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, elected as Pope Francis on March 13, 2013
FCC#90 Women's Cursillo 2014 Pictures