Naples Opens the Door to the Neocatechumenal Way

300 Respond to the Call to Evangelize China

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By Salvatore Cernuzio

NAPLES, MAY 23, 2012 ( “I came to gather all nations,” intoned Kiko Arguello during the entrance hymn chosen to open the meeting with young people of the Neocatechumenal Way, which was held in Naples on Sunday.

There were around 40,000 young people, not only from Italy but also many other European countries.

At the end of the meeting 200 young men and about 120 young women volunteered for the New Evangelization in China. About 100 young people then expressed their willingness to pray the rosary daily before the Blessed Sacrament for the mission.

The large crowd sang and danced in the streets before the arrival, in the afternoon of the founders of the neo-Catechumenal Way, Arguello and Carmen Hernandez, and also the cardinal of Naples, Crescenzo Sepe.

After having thanked Our Lady  who “inspired this Way and is helping everyone,” Arguello then referred to the Second Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians (5:14), inviting those present to receive it because it “has the power of exorcizing us and of changing the life of many.”

It is the proclamation of the Kerygma, the Good News of the Risen Christ, which Arguello spoke about. “All men are born with death inside; it is original sin that entered the world because of the devil’s envy. This is why there is fear of death, one flees from it, thus becoming slaves of the devil.”

How can this fear be overcome, he then asked. “By conquering death! Christ has already done so with the resurrection which is His and ours,” he replied grasping the crucifix on the stage. “He died so that man would no longer live for himself” and this, he added, “is the truth according to which today we are all called to live.”

Saying yes

Hence, the invitation is “to be like the Mother of Christ today,” to believe in this plan of salvation saying our “yes” to God, without being afraid because “we are not alone.” Because of this, concluded Arguello, “do not fear to give your life to Christ, nothing can impede loving him, sufferings also help to be united to Him.”

Cardinal Sepe exhorted them to say yes to the Lord and to go throughout the world to preach the Gospel: “God comes to meet man. You of the Way, therefore, must follow the way of Christ,” he said.

“You must not be afraid. He has chosen you and sends you to proclaim salvation. Go, therefore, and become missionaries of the true life in this world that disdains God, preaches violence, murders, and is not afraid of killing 16-year-old innocents,” the cardinal almost shouted, referring to the latest tragic events of Brindisi.

At the end of the meeting, ZENIT met with some of these youngsters asking them to recount their experience. The first was Simone, 23, of Rome. He explained why he had come forward to offer himself to work in China: “Gratitude to God for all that he has always done. I feel that my life has no meaning without Him and that all the rest doesn’t satisfy me, hence I really want to give Him everything and I am grateful for being in a reality such as that of the Neocatechumenal Way which illuminated me in this choice.”

Mattia, from Umbria, said: “I want to throw myself into this wonderful adventure that God wishes me to undertake, as Kiko said. Humanly, I’m a bit afraid of having to leave home, family, etc., but I am very much helped by the testimonies of other brothers who have abandoned their security and received a hundredfold.”

Finally, Stefano, 19, from Lazio gave his testimony of his first vocational meeting: “I came into the Neocatechumenal Way a very short time ago, but I have already been able to live extraordinary experiences, such as, in fact, today’s Day.”

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