Aparecida 305-306: Parishes At Worship and Devoted To Mission

More on the importance of the parish community, Pope Benedict is quoted about Sunday Mass:

305. Hence, community formation must especially be cultivated in the parish. Through various celebrations and initiatives, primarily with the Sunday Eucharist, which is the “the privileged moment of the community’s encounter with the risen Lord,”(Introductory Address 4) the faithful should experience the parish as a family in faith and charity, where they accompany and help one another to follow Christ.

306. If we want parishes to be centers from which mission radiates within their own boundaries they must also be places of constant formation. This requires that a variety of approaches to formation be organized within them, assuring accompaniment and the maturing of all pastoral agents and of laypeople inserted in the world. Adjacent parishes can combine efforts along these lines, while not neglecting opportunities for formation from the diocese and the bishops conference.

What would constant formation look like? I would imagine the initiation process operating at different stage simultaneously, accommodating the faith journey of many individuals. A year-round catechumenate presumes somebody is a catechumen at any time. Mystagogical catechesis is ideally the year after baptism. The other sacraments need formation. And believers must be formed into disciples. Disciples–authentic ones–would find themselves choosing from various options for deepening their skills and knowledge for the Christian life.

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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