Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Bearing Witness to Faith in Society


I was so pleased to have read this message of Pope Benedict XVI. For him to mention Fr. Damien de Vuester was an honor. Here were his words and the full text is below it...

Benedict XVI then turned to highlight "an event significant for today and the future: the canonisation of Fr. Damian de Veuster". In this context he mentioned the saint's "inner richness, his constant prayer, and his union with Christ Whom he recognised in his fellow men. Like Christ, he committed himself without reserve and, in this Year for Priests, it is a good idea to present his priestly and missionary example, especially to clergy and religious."



BEARING WITNESS TO FAITH IN SOCIETY

VATICAN CITY, 8 MAY 2010 ( VIS ) - The Holy Father today received prelates from the Episcopal Conference of Belgium, who have just completed their "ad limina" visit.

Referring to the bishop's individual reports on the situation in their dioceses, the Pope noted "the diminution in the number of baptised people who openly bear witness to their faith and their membership of the Church, the gradual increase in the average age of priests and religious, the lack of ordained and consecrated people who work in the fields of pastoral, educational and social care, and the scant numbers of candidates to the priesthood and consecrated life".

"Other sensitive issues include Christian formation, especially of the young, and questions concerning respect for life and for the institution of marriage and the family", he went on. "We may also mention the complex and often worrying situations concerning the economic crisis, unemployment, the social integration of immigrants, and the peaceful coexistence of the various linguistic and cultural communities of the nation".

Benedict XVI then turned to highlight "an event significant for today and the future: the canonisation of Fr. Damian de Veuster". In this context he mentioned the saint's "inner richness, his constant prayer, and his union with Christ Whom he recognised in his fellow men. Like Christ, he committed himself without reserve and, in this Year for Priests, it is a good idea to present his priestly and missionary example, especially to clergy and religious".

"The fall in the number of priests must not be considered as an inevitable process", said Pope Benedict. In this context he highlighted the urgent need "to give priestly ministry its right place and to recognise its irreplaceable nature. It follows, then, that we need a wide-ranging and serious pastoral care of vocations based on the exemplary sanctity of priests, attention to the seeds of vocation present in many young people, and assiduous and trusting prayer as Jesus recommended".

The Holy Father expressed his thanks to and encouraged priests, religious and missionaries, saying that only "Christ can calm all storms and give the strength and courage to lead a holy life in complete fidelity to one's ministry, consecration to God and Christian witness".

"It is important for priests to celebrate the liturgy with care, especially the Eucharist", the Pope explained. "The liturgical traditions of the Church must be respected in the celebrations, with the active participation of the faithful, each following his or her own role and uniting themselves to the Paschal mystery of Christ".

Benedict XVI went on to note how, in their reports, the bishops had also expressed concern over the formation of the laity. "We need to discern all the possibilities deriving from lay people's shared vocation to sanctity and apostolic work, respecting the essential distinction between priestly ministry and the 'common priesthood of the faithful'", he said.

"All members of the Catholic community, but particularly the lay faithful, are called to bear public witness to their faith and to be a leaven in society while showing respect for a healthy secularism of public institutions and for other religious confessions. Such witness", he concluded, "cannot limit itself to private meetings, but must have the nature of a public proposal, respectful but legitimate, of the values inspired by the evangelical message of Christ".

AL/

VIS20100510


Sr. Margaret Kerry, fsp
50 St Paul’s Ave
Boston, MA 02130
617-510-5409

Association of Pauline Cooperators
Living the gospel in every dimension of life in a world of communication.


2 comments:

Tracy said...

This is wonderful Easter, thank you so much for sharing!!

Easter A. said...

Tracy, you sweet lady, thank you!