Pontiff Encourages Community Life in Parish

Urges Courage, Generosity, Sacrifice in Marriage

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 12, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is encouraging the promotion of community life through parishes, centered on the Word of God and the sacraments.

The Pope stated this today in a homily during a pastoral visit to the parish of St. Maximilian Kolbe of the Diocese of Rome.

He encouraged his listeners to know «how to form a community with everyone, united in listening to the Word of God and in the celebration of the sacraments, especially the Eucharist.»

«Gathered around the Eucharist we more easily feel that the mission of every Christian community is that of bringing the message of God’s love to all men,» the Pontiff said. «This is why it is important that the Eucharist always be at the heart of the life of the faithful.»

He acknowledged that the parish community of St. Maximilian Kolbe has many families from other regions and countries that have come «in search of work and better conditions of life.»

«Precisely starting from this concrete situation of the parish you must try to grow evermore in communion with everyone,» the Holy Father urged.


He added that «it is important to create occasions of dialogue and to promote mutual understanding between persons from different cultures, models of life and social conditions.»

«But it is above all necessary to help them become involved in the Christian life through care that is attentive to the real needs of each person,» Benedict XVI stated.

He said: «All must be able to find in the parish adequate paths of formation and experience that communal dimension that is a fundamental characteristic of Christian life.

«In this way they are encouraged to rediscover the beauty of Christ and of being part of his Church.»

The Pope affirmed, «Advent is a powerful invitation to everyone to allow God to enter more and more into our life, into our houses, into our neighborhoods, into our communities, to have a light in the midst of many shadows, the many daily toils.»

The Pontiff addressed «a special thought to families,» affirming, «I accompany them with the wish that they may fully realize their vocation of love with generosity and perseverance.»

«Even when difficulties in conjugal life and in the relationships with their children present themselves,» he said, «the spouses must never cease to remain faithful to that fundamental ‘yes’ that they pronounced before God and each other on their wedding day, recalling that faithfulness to their vocation demands courage, generosity and sacrifice.»

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Full text: http://zenit.org/article-31219?l=english

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