Aparecida 173-174: Parishes Developing Missionaries

Parishes need to train their lay people to something new, yet something essential to the mission of the Gospel:

173. The Fifth General Conference is an opportunity for all of our parishes to become missionary. The number of Catholics who come to our Sunday celebration is limited; the number of those who are afar, and of those who do not know Christ is immense. Missionary renewal of parishes is urgent in the evangelization of both large cities and the countryside in our continent, which is demanding imagination and creativity on our part so as to reach the multitudes who yearn for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The creation of new pastoral structures is an issue especially in the urban environment because many of those structures arose in other times to respond to the needs of the countryside.

It seems the presence and ministry of clergy (large cities) is not enough. Adapting to a new era, too, requires new thinking, initiative, and ideas more attuned to today’s challenges. The seeds of all this were planted at Vatican II.

174. The best efforts of parishes now at the outset of the third millennium must be aimed at inviting and training of lay missionaries. Only by multiplying them will we be able to respond to the missionary demands of today.

It’s not about just transforming lay women and men into “churchy” people, but forming them to reveal the Gospel where we live, work, and play in the world.

It is also important to recall that the specific field of lay evangelizing activity is the complex world of work, culture, the sciences and the arts, politics, the media and the economy, as well as the realms of family, education, professional life, particularly in those settings where the church becomes present only through them.(Lumen Gentium 31, 33; Gaudium et Spes 43; Apostolicam Actuositatem 2)

For a deeper look, remember to check the English translation of the 2007 document from the Aparecida Conference.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in 2007 Aparecida document, bishops, evangelization. Bookmark the permalink.

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