Pope to Lay People: Parishes Need You

Underlines Their Enthusiasm, Availability and Full Creative Service

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Pope Francis has stressed the role of lay people in evangelization in an address to Catholic Action Italy, the country’s largest association of lay faithful.

“In the first place, parishes, especially those marked by fatigue and closures – and there are many of them – need your apostolic enthusiasm, your availability and your full creative service,” the Holy Father told the 7,000 members in the Paul VI Hall on Saturday. The lay group is holding its 15th National Assembly.

Stressing its significance during the Easter season, Francis focused on the theme: ‘New people in Christ Jesus – co-responsible for the joy of living’, adding this joy is that “of the disciples in their encounter with the risen Christ.” It must be internalized, he said, “in a style of evangelizing capable of really changing lives.”

Inviting those present to be open to where the Holy Spirit will lead, he said: “In the current social and ecclesial context, you lay people of Catholic Action are called to renew your missionary [commitment].” He said this requires being a living example and a renewed lay apostolate, open to accepting unexplored territories. (D.C.L.)

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