Vatican City, 5 September 2015 (VIS) – This morning in the Paul VI Hall, Pope Francis received more than 5,000 members of the “Cells of Evangelisation” from all over the world, accompanied by the Fr. Piergiorgio Perini, parish priest of St. Eustorgio in Milan, Italy, who founded this institution whose statutes were formally recognised by the Catholic Church on 15 April this year. With the help of their “cells”, parish priests are able to educate their parishes in evangelisation and to continue their ordinary pastoral ministry while also giving it a missionary quality.
This missionary aim requires, above all, “listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit Who continues to speak to His Church and to drive her to take paths that are at times little-known but decisive for the progress of evangelisation. Remaining always willing to listen and being careful never to become exhausted by tiredness and the difficulties of the moment, are conditions for overcoming the various obstacles we encounter on the path of evangelisation”.
The cells, with their daily commitment and in communion with other ecclesial entities, help the parish community to become a family “in which we find the rich and multiform reality of the Church”. “Meeting in homes to share the joys and hopes that are present in the heart of every person, is a genuine experience of evangelisation that closely resembles what took place in the early years of the Church”, remarked the Pope, noting that the Cells are “able to welcome all without judging anyone, to offer the experience of God's presence and love for one's brothers. Welcome is fundamental to evangelisation, as it is one of the first signs of the communion to which we are called to bear witness, for having encountered Christ in our life”.
The Holy Father exhorted the members of the movement to make the Eucharist the heart of their evangelising mission, “so that each Cell may be a Eucharistic community where breaking bread is equivalent to recognising the real presence of Jesus Christ among us”. “Your statutes were approved on Divine Mercy Sunday. May you always bear witness to the tenderness of God the Father and His closeness to everyone, especially the weakest and loneliest”.