On Saturday, the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul the Apostle, Newman Theological College announced the establishment of a new institute that aims to serve the New Evangelization by developing and offering innovative  programs in faith formation and catechesis.

“The Benedict XVI Institute for New Evangelization is intended to meet the real needs of the Catholic Church in Canada today,” College President Dr. Jason West said in announcing the initiative. Course offerings will be aimed at ordained ministers, religious, and lay people, at a variety of levels.

“The institute will ensure that the Gospel is presented anew to the various segments of society in Edmonton and throughout Western Canada.”

Blessed Pope John Paul II first called for a “new evangelization” some 30 years ago, and encouraged renewed efforts in proclaiming the Gospel to all who seek the truth. This “new evangelization” would be “new in its ardour, method, and expression.” Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI made the New Evangelization a central theme throughout his papacy, and so was a natural source for the name of the new institute. In his vision of the New Evangelization, Benedict XVI encouraged a particular outreach to baptized Christians who have heard about Christ, but for whom the Christian faith has lost its personal meaning and transformative power.
The Benedict XVI Institute is in part a response to the call of Archbishop Richard Smith, who identified faith formation as a key priority for the Archdiocese of Edmonton in his Pastoral Letters of September 2011 and September 2012.

“Essential to the new evangelization is the witness of those who have been formed in the beauty of the Gospel and shaped by its transformative power,” said Archbishop Smith. “I am very excited by the possibilities that this new institute will offer to those who seek to grow in their relationship with Christ and serve the evangelical mission of the Church." 

For more details the Benedict XVI Institute and the programs it currently offers, please visit  http://newman.edu/BenedictXVIInstitute.