On the Second Sunday of Advent Bishop Tobin requested that his pastoral letter on The Year of Evangelization be read from the pulpit of every church in the diocese--first request of this kind in his five years in Providence. "The fact that I’m doing so today indicates the importance of a new initiative in the Diocese – namely, our Year of Evangelization."
"There are moments in history that call for a renewed emphasis on evangelization, and I am convinced that we are currently living in one of those moments. Because of the internal challenges the Church has faced in recent years, and because we live in a very secular, even atheistic age – an age “without God” – the Church has both an urgent need and a special opportunity to strengthen our faith and to share it with others."In the letter the bishop indicated three purposes for the Year of Evangelization:
- Renew our personal enthusiasm about, and commitment to, our Catholic Faith.
- Reach out to those many, many Catholics who have drifted away and no longer practice the faith.
- Invite the "unchurched" to visit and learn more about the Catholic Faith.
- Participate in the many events planned throughout the Year of Evangelization, increase the diocese's outreach and sincerely welcome those returning to or those drawn to the Catholic Faith.
- Become a "personal evangelist" by identifying at least one person, perhaps a family member or neighbor and invite them to return or come to church a first time.
- This work, like every work of the Church, is a combination of the human and the divine, therefore pray fervently for the success of our Year for Evangelization.