Pope Francis to Catholic Action: root your apostolate in the parish
May 03, 2017
Nearly 100,000 persons associated with Italian Catholic Action, a lay apostolate with close ties to the hierarchy, celebrated its 150th anniversary at a three-hour commemoration in St. Peter’s Square on April 30.
In his remarks, Pope Francis recalled the heritage of the apostolate while challenging its members not to rest on their laurels.
“I encourage you to continue to be a people of missionary disciples who live and bear witness to the joy of knowing that the Lord loves us with infinite love, and who together with Him deeply love the story we are part of,” Pope Francis said.
He continued, “This is what we are taught by the great witnesses of holiness who traced the history of your association, among whom I would like to recall Giuseppe Toniolo, Armida Barelli, Piergiorgio Frassati, Antonietta Meo, Teresio Olivelli and Vittorio Bachelet.”
The Pope also emphasized the importance of the parish:
Today too you are called to follow your particular vocation, putting yourselves at the service of the dioceses, around the bishop, always—and in the parishes, always—where the Church abides among the people, always …
I invite you to continue your apostolic experience rooted in the parish, which “is not an outdated institution,” do you understand? The parish is not an outdated institution, because it is “the presence of the Church in a given territory, an environment for hearing God’s word, for growth in the Christian life, for dialogue, proclamation, charitable outreach, worship and celebration” (Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium, 28).
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