The Pope’s words of encouragement to ecclesial communities to keep joy alive and to not be afraid have inspired a Vatican dicastery to spearhead a world congress in Rome this fall.
The Pontifical Council for the Laity will hold its third world congress of ecclesial movements and new communities November 20 to 22.
Titled “The joy of the Gospel: a missionary joy”, based on Pope Francis’ Apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, the event is to take place at the Pontifical International College Maria Mater Ecclesiae in Rome.
Before the Angelus prayer on May 19, 2013, the Sunday of Pentecost during the Year of Faith, the Holy Father addressed the new movements and new ecclesial communities, encouraging them to continue in their work: “You are a gift and wealth for the Church! Always carry forth the strength of the Gospel! Do not be afraid! Always keep alive your joy and passion for the communion of the Church!”
Starting from this exhortation, the Pontifical Council for the Laity consulted with the movements and new ecclesial communities regarding the organization, logistics and main themes to be considered in the congress.
Another motive from which this idea was born was that after that encounter on Pentecost, the Pope presented the Apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium. “A true vademecum for ecclesial movements and new communities,” the work has as its main objective the need for a renewed evangelical phase in the life of the Church in our times.
Delegates expected to be present will be from international associations with the most widespread presence all over the world.
The registration of delegates at the congress is formally open. So far members have enrolled from ecclesial movements and new communities from all continents and from more than 80 international associative entities, which will be accompanied by various bishops from the diocese and organs of the Roman Curia.
In addition, more than 55 founders and general heads of various communities from around the world have already enrolled.
The superiors of the dicastery dedicated their annual meeting of June 27, 2014, to ecclesial movements and new communities, in preparation for this event, and to hearing the participants in the meeting from over 30 international associations of the faithful. (D.C.L.)