The role of laity and the “current of grace” in evangelization

The Prefect and Secretary of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life participated in the online course promoted by the archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro to the Bishops of Brazil
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The Bishops' Course is a study, update, and sharing meeting, organized by the Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro which takes place every year in the month of January, with the participation of the Bishops of Brazil.

The role of laity in current moment in evangelization

This year, the Prefect of the Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life, Cardinal Kevin Farrell, participated in the course remotely. In his presentation, Farrell explored the theme of the role of the laity in the Church, with special reference to the evangelization.

In order to understand the theme, the Prefect invited the Bishops of Brazil to reflect on the role of the laity, asking a simple question: «what can ordained ministers do alone? And what can lay people do on their own?”

Il Prefetto ha, dunque, risposto a queste domande citando le parole di Papa Francesco: «Se il cuore dell’identità del sacerdote sta nel consacrare il pane eucaristico, il centro della missione laicale consiste nel consacrare il mondo secondo il progetto di Dio.» (Prefazione al libro di S.E.R. Fabio Fabene, Sinfonia di ministeri. Una rinnovata presenza dei laici nella Chiesa, Libreria Editrice Vaticana - Edizioni San Paolo, Città del Vaticano - Cinisello Balsamo, Milano, 2020)

The Prefect therefore responded to these questions by quoting the words of Pope Francis: «If the heart of the priest's identity lies in consecrating the Eucharistic bread, the center of the lay mission consists in consecrating the world according to God's plan.» (Preface to the book by H.E.R. Fabio Fabene, Symphony of ministries. A renewed presence of the laity in the Church, Libreria Editrice Vaticana - Edizioni San Paolo, Vatican City - Cinisello Balsamo, Milan, 2020)

Continuing to his speech, the Cardinal explored the aspect of the identity and mission of the laity. They are touched by the grace that Christ gives them in the sacraments, enlightened and strengthened by the Word, and «go» into the world and transform it with their very presence. Their mission is not limited only to some territories, but extends to every region of the Earth and every sector of society. And above all it passes mainly through their testimony of life. «Living as Christians is already evangelizing!» said the prefect of the Dicastery.

Charismatic Renewal, CHARIS and the New Communities

In the online meeting, Fr. Alexandre Awi Mello, Secretary of the Dicastery, presented the new charismatic realities, the fruit of a «new time in the Spirit».  In a very concrete way, he reflected together with the Bishops on Charismatic Renewal, on CHARIS and the New Communities.

«Pope Francis considers the reality of the Charismatic Renewal not as an association or an ecclesial movement, but as a current of grace», recalled Fr. Awi Mello to the Bishops. While an ecclesial association or movement simply proposes a path of growth in Christian life among the many possible paths, a current of grace in the Church is very different and this is what characterizes the Charismatic Renewal. The experience of Baptism in the Holy Spirit. In this sense,«the Renewal is a current of grace from which everyone can benefit», Fr. Alexandre said.

At the end of his speech, the Secretary of the Dicastery concluded by reiterating this helps us «understand that Catholic Charismatic Renewal does not belong to its members, but to the whole Church».

27 February 2022