Aparecida 372: Too-Large Communities

Finding the best scale for pastoral efforts: we all struggle with it. First question: Is everyone who can be reached getting contact?


372. Bearing in mind the size of our parishes, breaking them up into smaller territorial units with their own leadership and coordination teams is advisable so as to allow closer contact with persons and groups living in the territory.

Professional ministers or families? The Aparecida bishops opt for the latter:

It is advisable that missionary agents promote the creation of communities of families to foster sharing their Christian faith and responses to problems.

Missionary activity is no longer the domain of vowed religious, but there are significant numbers of lay people who dedicate themselves for limited periods of time:

We recognize as an important phenomenon in our time the emergence and spread of different forms of missionary volunteer service which are handling a variety of services. The Church supports national and international volunteer networks and programs, which in many countries have emerged within the realm of civil society organizations on behalf of our continent poorest people, in the light of the principles of dignity, subsidiarity, and solidarity, in accordance with the Church’s social doctrine. These are not simply strategies for pursuing pastoral success, but fidelity in imitation of the Master, ever close, accessible, available to everyone, eager to communicate life in every corner of the earth.

I’ve known people for whom missionary experiences are always with them, and often draw them back into service after children have grown and careers are completed.

Remember, you can reference an English translation of the 2007 document from the Aparecida Conference here.

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 and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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