By Carl E. Olson
If asked to complete this sentence, "The entire mission of the Church, then, is concentrated and manifested in –", how many Catholics would finish it with the word "evangelization"?
That sentence is from Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici, "On the Vocation and the Mission of the Lay Faithful in the Church and in the World." It was written by the late Holy Father at the end of 1988 in response to the 1987 Synod of Bishops, which had focused on the theme "Vocation and Mission in the Church and in the World Twenty Years after the Second Vatican Council." Forty years have now passed since the conclusion of the last Council and the topic of evangelization remains as vital and urgent as ever.