ROBERT W. OLIVER, THE VOCATION OF THE LAITY TO EVANGELIZATION. An Ecclesiological Inquiry into the Synod on the Laity (1987), Christifideles laici (1989), and Documents of the NCCB (1987-1996)
The consultation before the 1987 Synod of Bishops
surfaced a concern among the world episcopate that the «potential of the
laity for evangelization is far from being concretized. The lay
faithful constitute today the greatest strength that the church can employ
for its mission in the world. It is necessary and urgent that they
be guided to undertake their responsibility».
Post-conciliar writings on the laity have been focused, however, mostly on intra-ecclesial issues. The theological foundations which undergird the vocation of the laity have also remained relatively unexplored.
This study offers a thorough and systematic analysis of the laity's call to evangelization as it was presented in the 1987 synod, Pope John Paul II's post-synodal exhortation Christifideles laici, and selected documents of the episcopal conference of the United States. It addresses such important issues as the ecclesiological foundations and diverse dimensions of lay evangelization, the relationship of the laity and the hierarchy, and the specific vocations of individuals, families, and lay associations to participate in the mission of the church.
ROBERT OLIVER, born in 1960 in New York,
has followed courses of studies in Hanover NH, Boston MA, Washington DC,
and Rome at the Gregorian University, where he received a Licentiate Degree
in Dogmatic Theology and a Doctorate in Theology. Since 1984, he has been
a member of the Brotherhood of Hope, a community of brothers dedicated
to evangelization. He is currently teaching and working in the Brotherhood's
missions in Boston and in Florida.
(C) PUG 1999