On February 28, 2023, a course entitled, “The Art of Proclamation” began with a series of afternoon lectures that explored how we transmit the faith through various pastoral perspectives. The course is being offered at the Pontifical Theological Faculty of St. Bonaventure (Seraphicum) in Rome

The Most Reverend Marco TASCA, Archbishop of Genoa, Italy, was the keynote speaker. Using Sacred Scripture as a starting point, he talked about three concepts that should guide the process of evangelization: relationship, the ability to take the extra step in approaching the other, and the centrality of Jesus who is always with us.
Father Alfonso D’ALESSIO spoke next and continued the Archbishop’s exhortations. He talked about proclamation through today’s means of social communication, and stressed how Christians have a duty to be actively involved in these means. Proclamation is at the heart of what it means to be a Christian and if our proclamation has no social relevance, we must ask ourselves why. Of course, we obviously face risks when using these rapidly changing means. The much-discussed new evangelization, although it does not affect the contents of the sacred deposit of the faith, is nevertheless impossible to carry out without the courage to make use of contemporary means of communication.
Father Fabio ROSINI gave the final lecture of the afternoon. Speaking from experience, he stressed proclamation is actually an art, in the deepest sense of the term. It is not an art in the sense of unrehearsed self-expression. Rather, it is an increasingly refined craft that must be learned and transmitted. Quoting Cardinal Raniero CANTALAMESSA, Father Fabio said that the biggest problem over time has been the interruption of the transmission of the faith and this has lessened the number of faithful people today. According to Fr. Fabio, there is no vocation crisis today, what is missing is the People of God. Moreover, this absence comes from a long period of Tridentine-style moralistic preaching focused on works, in reaction to the Protestant Reformation. The Second Vatican Council ended this by putting the proclamation of the Gospel back at the center. Gospel proclamation plants a seed in the spiritual life, which leads to fertility and conception. The problem, according to Father Fabio, is when this is not followed up with further growth, with metabolization, with formation that leads the faithful to adult life. In a society characterized by infantilism, even the Church is unable to stimulate growth, resulting in the crisis we all see. Formation in proclamation is lacking for priests; the munus docendi has been totally forgotten. We need to educate evangelizers so that they can show the beauty of the Gospel to today’s world, a world full of literate adults and young natives of digital technology. We must recover the instructional, formative language that gives us the tools we can use for growth, growth that comes from discovering the beauty that one senses as a member of the family of Christ. To do this, we need not look far for teaching examples. We not look around for other narratives with examples of their own. Sacred Scripture, tradition, the saints, the liturgy and the sacraments provide us with all the tools we need. The art of proclamation is learning to value them, to present them to today’s world and to show their full strength and beauty.
The Art of Proclamation course will continue with its weekly series of lectures until May 9, 2023. It will explore the subject of proclamation from biblical, liturgical and catechetical perspectives with help from other noted experts such as Father Luigi Maria EPICOCO, Father Marco FRISINA, Rosanna VIRGILI, Gianluigi DE PALO, Friar Dominik JURCZAK (OP), Friar Raffaele DI MURO, Friar Massimo VEDOVA, Father Lucio Adrián RUIZ, Antonio TARALLO, Brother Enzo BIEMMI (Holy Family Brothers) and Angela TAGLIAFICO.

Friar Roberto LIGGERI