“The number of those who do not know Christ and do not belong to the Church is constantly on the increase. Indeed, since the end of the Council it has almost doubled. When we consider this immense portion of humanity which is loved by the Father and for whom he sent his Son, the urgency of the Church’s mission is obvious.
On the other hand, our own times offer the Church new opportunities in this field: we have witnessed the collapse of oppressive ideologies and political systems; the opening of frontiers and the formation of a more united world due to an increase in communications; the affirmation among peoples of the gospel values which Jesus made incarnate in his own life (peace, justice, brotherhood, concern for the needy); and a kind of soulless economic and technical development which only stimulates the search for the truth about God, about man and about the meaning of life itself.
God is opening before the Church the horizons of a humanity more fully prepared for the sowing of the Gospel. I sense that the moment has come to commit all of the Church’s energies to a new evangelization and to the mission ad gentes. No believer in Christ, no institution of the Church can avoid this supreme duty: to proclaim Christ to all peoples.” St. John Paul II
St. John Paul II explores the Catholic Church’s imperative mandate to evangelize and bring the Gospel to all nations in his encyclical Redemptoris Missio. This mission constitutes the new evangelization – an evangelization ever ancient but ever new – meeting the world and people in their temporal reality. This need to evangelize should also be applied to Church real estate (the Catholic Church being the largest land owner in the world) – the Church is called to be a good steward of her property and use it for the furthering of her apostolic and evangelizing mission.
Prof. Dan Kelly explores the importance of new, innovative approaches to land usage (e.g. 99 year land lease), appropriate mechanisms and best practices for property management, and the significance of programs like the Church Property Initiative at the Fitzgerald Institute for Real Estate (Notre Dame University), that will ensure the Church properties are not only protected for the future but can also further her apostolic and evangelizing mission.
Daniel B. Kelly serves as the Faculty Director for the Fitzgerald Institute for Real Estate and is a Professor of Law at Notre Dame. He teaches courses on property law and law and economics, has published in leading academic journals, and currently serves as an Associate Reporter for the Restatement (Fourth) of Property. Before joining Notre Dame, Dan was a judicial clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, an attorney at Cravath, Swaine & Moore in New York City, and a research fellow at Yale University and Harvard University. He earned a B.A. in Economics and History from the University of Notre Dame and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
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