Aparecida 304: Formation in Parishes

Today, we begin a brief look (304-306) at the parish as a place of faith formation. A heads-up on those notes: my reference document for the Aparecida excludes a key for the abbreviations SD, EAm, and others. In other posts, I’ve spelled out the reference in full.

304. The community dimension is intrinsic to the mystery and the reality of the Church, which must reflect the Blessed Trinity. This essential dimension has been lived in various ways over the centuries. The Church is communion. Parishes are living cells of the Church (Apostolicam Actuositatem 10; SD 55) and special places where most of the faithful have a concrete experience of Christ and his Church.(EAm 41) They include inexhaustible communal riches because in them is found an immense variety of situations, ages, and tasks. Especially today, when the crisis of family life affects so many children and young people, parishes offer a community space for being formed in the faith and growing in community.

Parishes have clear advantages, even huge or small ones. An obvious starter: they generally do not exclude people as a specialized group might. Often united under a cleric or lay coordinator, they nearly always are multi-generational and give a fair to wide breadth of economic classes.

If nuclear families are isolated from grandparents and extended relations, parishes may provide the guidance of elders, especially to young families with children. The plus of having the full range of wealthy to poor may permit a parish to extend itself through resources to serve members and to reach outside the core to those on fringes.

For deeper examination, an English translation of the 2007 document from the Aparecida Conference.

About catholicsensibility

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

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