Tag Archives: laity

The lay person’s true calling

“The Christian should be a credible witness… He should work to make the culture one in which he can comfortably live and express his faith. And the person best placed to do this is not the cleric or the religious but the layperson.”

Francis Cardinal Arinze
The Layperson’s Distinctive Role

Order from Ignatius Press

Work, culture and education according to Benedict

Last week Benedict XVI spoke to people who belong to various movements in the Church that make contributions to work, culture and education. Why is my posting this important? Because I believe what the Pope has to say is crucial in following his lead in the life I lead, and I believe it is helpful for others who desire to live similarly. I am confronted –in a good way– with questions about the value of work, culture and education and the place of the Church in these sectors. As Father Giussani told us, the Church is not here to fix our problems but to offer us a lens by which we can judge the reality in front of us so that we can fix a problem. Pay close attention to what Benedict has to say:

Work is not only an instrument of individual profit, but it is a moment in which to express ones’ own skills with a spirit of service in a professional activity, be it factory work, agricultural, scientific or otherwise,” 

“Culture, voluntary service and work constitute the indivisible trinomial of the Catholic laity’s daily life, which makes belonging to Christ and the Church more real, in the private as much as in the public spheres of society.” 

The lay faithful put themselves in the game when they touch one or more of these contexts and, in the cultural service, by showing solidarity with those in need and on the job, they strive to promote human dignity.”

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Dominican Tertiaries professed, new members admitted

Fraternity of St Dominic New Haven April 29 April 2012.jpgMany of the religious orders have what is called a Third Order Laity, or some such name for the laity who are closely connected spiritually and morally to an Order and continue to live their lives according to the vocation they’ve been given: the single life, married life or secular priesthood.

As a point of comparison, the Benedictine monasteries have Oblates –I am one–, the Franciscans have the Secular Franciscan Order, the Jesuits have nothing (by design of Saint Ignatius) and the Dominicans have what’s called today, The Fraternity of Saint Dominic.

On Good Shepherd Sunday, April 29, the New Haven, CT Dominican laity at Saint Mary’s Church professed by vow several people and admitted 6 to the novitiate, a period of time of testing one’s vocation to the Fraternity and learning the Four Pillars of Dominican life (prayer, study, community and service).
May Saint Dominic richly bless these new sons and daughters.

Read the Pope’s address to the Pontifical Council of the Laity

Communion and Liberation posted a new flyer entitled,
“Laity, that is, Christians.”  It is a selection from the Pope
Benedict’s address to the Plenary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity that he gave on 25 November

The Pope’s address is a remarkable confirmation of what Father Julián
Carrón, President of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation has proposed to
us since January: that Christ’s companionship reawakens the depths of our “I” (that
is, our entire person).

I highly recommend that you read the flyer attentively
and to reflect upon the deep communion between our CL charism and the
leadership of the Pope at this historical moment witnessed by it. As someone of
the CL movement said, “We are truly being led by the Good Shepherd in this
moment of such great difficulty for so many!”

Papal address is available in Italian and Spanish at the moment. Here is the Italian version. Hopefully the English edition will be available soon.

Pope to new bishops: balance your Christian life, be open to the laity

Newly ordained bishops are invited to Rome for a baby bishops’ camp each year. This year more than 100 new bishops came together for a series of workshops sponsored by the Congregations for Bishops and Eastern Churches on the theme of the Holy Spirit in the life of the bishop and the Church. The pope addressed the new bishops today. He exhorted them to live a balanced Christian life of prayer, study, work and rest. Moreover, he reminded the bishops that they are pastors of souls –not CEOs– and have to be concerned for the eternal destiny of those they are called to serve asking them at the same time to welcome the gifts the laity bring to the life of the Church. Every baptized person is brought into the inner life of the Trinity. In other words, the Pope told the bishops don’t act arbitrarily and be human: clericalism has no place in pastoral leadership.

Watch the video presentation of the event.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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