ROLE AND SERVICE OF THE LAITY IN THE CHURCH

FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL

ON POPE FRANCIS

(Part 61)

ROLE AND SERVICE OF THE LAITY IN THE CHURCH

May 3, 2015

Pope Francis, in addressing the CVX and the SML, stressed the proper role and service of the laity within the Church. He emphasized various elements, which are exactly the elements of our life and work.

First, “promoting a culture of justice and peace.” This is our work with the poor. One of our 7 Core Values is “Living a Preferential Option for the Poor.” Our work with the poor is done through the No One in Need (NONe) movement.

Second, “family pastoral ministry.” This is our basic thrust of family renewal. Our call is to renew the family and to defend life. This is done through the work of our Family Ministries, providing formation, care and support to kids, youth, singles, couples, widow or widowers, those separated and others.

Third, “working with those who have drifted away from the Church.” This is our basic work of evangelization. One of our 7 Core Values is “Being Evangelistic and Missionary.” Just like our Mother Church, we exist for mission. Our evangelization is to be rapid, massive and worldwide. We especially look for the lost sheep, the lapsed Catholics, through the Live Christ, Share Christ (LCSC) movement.

Further, “attention to missionary life.” We have 130 full-time workers, many of them pastoral workers, in different countries. We have sent out many missionaries. There would be very much more if we had the needed finances.

Fourth, “the youth.” We have a very vibrant youth ministry. In particular, we have been rigorously proclaiming the gospel of purity through the Live Pure Movement, reaching hundreds of thousands of young people.

Finally, “Pope Francis invoked the Virgin Mary.” We consecrated ourselves to Mother Mary in 2007, and look to her guidance and intercession for our life and work.

We are and have been on the right track. Onward to the New Evangelization.

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Pope to Community of Christian Life: ‘Devote Yourselves to the Common Good’

Meets with Ignatian Movement Ahead of May 3rd Conference in Frascati

ROME, May 01, 2015 (Zenit.org) – On Thursday, Pope Francis met with the Community of Christian Life (CVX) and the Student Missionary League, for the inauguration of the National Conference of the two Italian groups, based on Ignatian spirituality.

The Conference, which will take place on May 3rd in the Italian city of Frascati, has as it’s theme: “Beyond the Walls”.

In his address, the Holy Father recalled to those present that he knows the CVX very well, as he was the national assistant in Argentina in the 1970s. The movement, he said, is rooted with the Marian Congregations, who in turn “arrived during the first generation of St. Ignatius of Loyola’s companions.”

The Pope noted that the CVX anticipated the Second Vatican Council, saying that they highlighted the role and service of the laity within the Church.

The Holy Father set aside his prepared remarks to the movement’s members, preferring to giving them copies. In his prepared remarks, the Pope offered three reflections for their upcoming conference.

Firstly, he addressed the challenge of promoting a culture of justice and peace. “Faced with a culture of illegality, corruption and confrontation, you are called to devote yourselves to the common good, also through service to those linked to politics,” he wrote.

The second reflection he offered was on family pastoral ministry. Following the last Synod of Bishops, the Pope encouraged them “to help diocesan communities in their care for families” as well as “accompanying couples as they prepare for marriage.”

The Holy Father also emphasized the importance of working with those who have “drifted away” from the Church: among them there are many separated couples, “who suffer as a result of the failure of their plans for married life”, and also other difficult family situations.

Finally, he turns his attention to missionary life, and encouraged them to maintain their capacity to “go out towards the frontiers of humanity at its neediest”.

The Pope mentions the members of communities present in Syria, Lebanon and plans for the reception of immigrants in Sicily, and reminds them that, “in this luminous and fruitful apostolic style, you too can be active in inspiring the various educational institutions in Italy, Catholic and state-managed, as in other parts of the world”.

Rounding out his address, the 78 year old Pontiff reminded those present that “St. Ignatius understood that in order to renew society, the youth needed to be the starting point and for that reason, he boosted the opening of colleges, where the first Marian Congregations were born.”

“On the basis of this pastoral action – the Pope continued – there is always the joy of the evangelical witness, combined with the delicacy of closeness and respect for the other.”

Concluding his address, Pope Francis invoked the Virgin Mary, “who with her Yes inspired your founders, may She help you to respond without reservations to the vocation of being ‘light and salt’ in the environments in which one lives and works.”

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