Answering the call to the New Evangelization Print E-mail
Around the Diocese
Written by Michelle Nilsson, Office of Evangelization and Catechesis   
Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016 -- 12:00 AM
ralph poyo
Deacon Ralph Poyo

MADISON -- Beginning on November 1, the Diocese of Madison will be a hosting Deacon Ralph Poyo of New Evangelization Ministries for several events at local parishes.

Deacon Poyo will be inspiring and guiding us in our own journey of conversion but also helping us to assist others to encounter Jesus and our Catholic faith with new ardor, new methods and expression.

Our history of evangelization
and the New Evangelization

It may be unclear whether we as Catholics truly understand the meaning of the term evangelization. But it is certain that we all agree that the earliest followers of Christ were called to go out to spread the Good News of Jesus. That was in fact the first call to evangelize the world. Jesus taught his followers to be evangelizers.

But we do not live in biblical times and our recent Holy Fathers have recognized a need to reteach and engage the world with a re-proposing of the Gospel Message.

Shortly after Vatican II, Blessed Paul VI promulgated a post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation entitled, Evangelization in the Modern World. This document gave the Church the foundation and principles of evangelization that informs our current understanding.

St. John Paul II continued this work and coined the phrase “The New Evangelization.” He began to define what that phrase means and a vision for this New Evangelization.

It is clear to see that our western world is in crisis and the message of Jesus has been proclaimed but drowned out by the busy-ness and materialism of our culture. So, St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict called for the Church to “repropose” the Gospel message to those people/cultures who have heard the truth of Jesus Christ but have rejected or forgotten the Christian message.

Now we see Pope Francis as a living witness of this call and showing us how to implement this vision and these principles in our daily lives.

Fulfilling the Church’s mission to evangelize in our diocese

In the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis, we have taken this call seriously and are doing our best to equip those who are disciples in the Church with the tools and opportunities to answer this call to the New Evangelization in their parishes.

One way to do this is to bring speakers like Deacon Ralph Poyo to help inspire and arm us with “new ardor, methods, and expression” as St. John Paul II so eloquently challenged us all.

Deacon Poyo has worked in ministry for nearly 30 years. He began his work as a youth evangelist and youth minister in Miami, Fla., then worked in parishes in the Diocese of Raleigh, N.C., in youth ministry and faith formation.

He now runs an Ohio-based evangelization ministry in which he travels the country and inspires the lay faithful, clergy, parishes, and dioceses through parish missions, retreats, and trainings leading all of them to answer the call to the New Evangelization.

He and his wife Susan live full time in Steubenville, Ohio. They have five daughters, three sons-in-law, and four grandchildren. He is a passionate witness and helps others to experience the person of Christ in everyday life.

Deacon Poyo’s schedule

While Deacon Poyo is here, he will be visiting several parishes and offering talks and workshops. The parishes hosting these events have invited all people of the Diocese of Madison to attend. The schedule is as follows:

• St. John the Baptist, Jefferson -- Wednesday, Nov. 2, 6 to 8 p.m. (contact Tiffany Topel, 920-674-5433)

• Diocese of Madison Evangelization Workshop at Holy Name Heights, Madison -- Friday, Nov. 4, 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (contact OEC, 608-821-3160)

• St. Christopher Parish, Verona -- Saturday, Nov. 5, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. (contact Doug Ulaszek, 608-845-6613)

• St. Francis Xavier, Cross Plains -- Sunday, Nov. 6, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. (contact Cindy Ballweg. 608-798-4824)

For more information, call the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis at 608-821-3160 or go to

Please support our advertisers: