The Role of the Laity in Evangelization in St. Mary’s Catholic Parish, Kitgum Mission (Gulu Archdiocese) in Light of Christifideles Laici 1988
Ocan, Kennedy Kenneth
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The interest in this study came in place as a result of the one year of pastoral work in two different Parishes where the researcher saw how the lay people are involving themselves in evangelization and the circumstances surrounding them. This raised my attention to have a closer study of The Role of the Laity in Evangelization in St. Mary’s Catholic Parish, Kitgum Mission (Gulu Archdiocese) in Light of the Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici of Paul II 1988. These role are looked at according to the three dimensions of the mission of Christ as Priest, Prophet and King. The General objective of this study is to bring the Laity on board so that they participate more actively as agents of evangelization by making them aware of their role in the Church. The research followed the procedures given by Vatican II Council in the Decree on the Training of Priests (Optatam Totius) no. 16 by first bringing its Biblical foundation, then how Church fathers contributed to its development, and then giving its relationship to the General history of the Church. In this, both qualitative and quantitative methods were used in the collection, analysis, and presentation of the information. Two major data collection methods were employed: interview and questionnaire however, Observation and Focus Group Discussion supplemented them. In the study, the researcher found out the followings; • Gender is a significant factor influencing the participation of the lay people in the various activities of the Church. • Marital status of the laity contributes a lot in the participation in evangelization. • Age contributes significantly for effective evangelization. People between 35-45 and the youths are very influential. • Areas of location between rural and urban areas are very important in determining the participation of the laity in evangelization. • There is a significant relationship between poverty and the involvement of the lay people in evangelization. In conclusion, there cannot be any serious and effective evangelization without the involvement of the lay people. Every baptized person has received the mission of proclaiming the Good News to the ends of all the earth (Mk 16:15-16). The study therefore, recommends the following to be done; the need to help the laity in Kitgum Mission Parish to understand their responsibility and duty in the Church, fostering good working relationships between the laity and their pastors, need for exposure by the laity, strengthening the various movements and associations in the Parish and finally, effective implementation of the second Archdiocesan synod Act of 2011 would help to bring the laity on board as agents and stakeholders in evangelization.