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Monday, January 17, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 17 JAN 2011 (VIS) - At midday today in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall the Pope received Kiko Arguello and Carmen Hernandez, initiators of the Neo-Catechumenal Way, and Fr. Mario Pezzi. They were accompanied by the itinerant teams responsible for the Way in more than 120 countries, and by a large group of priests, seminarians and families.

  "For more than forty years the Neo-Catechumenal Way has been contributing to the revitalisation and consolidation of Christian initiation in dioceses and parishes, favouring a gradual but radical rediscovery of the riches of Baptism, helping people to savour divine life, the heavenly life which the Lord inaugurated with His incarnation, when He came among us and was born like one of us".

  "Over the last few years the process of drawing up the Statues of the Neo-Catechumenal Way has reached a fruitful conclusion and, following an appropriate experimental period, they received definitive approval in June 2008. Another important step was made in recent days with the approval, by the competent dicasteries of the Holy See, of the 'Catechetical Directory of the Neo-Catechumenal Way'.

  "With these seals of ecclesial approval", the Pope added, "the Lord today confirms this precious tool which is the Way and again entrusts it to you so that, in filial obedience to the Holy See and the pastors of the Church, you may contribute with renewed energy and ardour to the radical and joyful rediscovery of the gift of Baptism, and offer your own original contribution to the cause of new evangelisation. The Church has recognised in the Neo-Catechumenal Way a particular gift created by the Holy Spirit. As such it naturally tends to insert itself into the harmony of the ecclesial Body. In this light I exhort you always to seek profound communion with pastors, and with all members of the particular Churches, and of the very different ecclesial contexts in which you are called to work. Fraternal communion between the disciples of Jesus is, in fact, the first and greatest witness to the name of Jesus Christ".

  The Pope expressed his joy at the fact that today he is sending more than 200 Neo-Catechumenal families out to various parts of the world. These families "have with great generosity made themselves available and are leaving on mission, thus joining their efforts to the nearly 600 already operating on the five continents. Dear families", he said, "may the faith you have received as a gift be as a light on the candlestick, capable of showing mankind the way to heaven. With the same sentiments I am sending out thirteen new 'missiones ad gentes'. They will be called to create a new ecclesial presence in highly secularised areas of various countries, or in places where Christ's message has not yet reached".

  Turning then to address priests from various "Redemptoris Mater" diocesan seminaries in Europe, and the more than 2,000 seminarians present, the Holy Father told them "to remain enamoured of Christ and His Church, transmitting to the world the joy of having met the Lord and of being able to serve Him".

  "In any suffering or emptiness you may experience", Benedict told the itinerant catechists, the Neo-Catechumenal communities of Rome and Lazio, and the "communitates in missionem", "feel yourselves united to the suffering of Christ on the cross, and to His desire to reach our many brothers and sisters still distant from faith and truth, to bring them back to the house of the Father".

  The Holy Father concluded his remarks by inviting his audience to reflect on part three of his Apostolic Constitution "Verbum Domini" which concerns "the Church's mission to proclaim the Word of God to the world", and to "feel themselves as participants in the Lord Jesus' concern for salvation, in the mission He entrusts to the whole Church".
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