Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Wednesday, May 12, 2021 - #Eucharist in Your Virtual Church - Eastertide

 Wednesday of the Sixth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 293
Reading I
Acts 17:15, 22—18:1
After Paul’s escorts had taken him to Athens,
they came away with instructions for Silas and Timothy
to join him as soon as possible.
Then Paul stood up at the Areopagus and said:
“You Athenians, I see that in every respect
you are very religious.
For as I walked around looking carefully at your shrines,
I even discovered an altar inscribed, ‘To an Unknown God.’
What therefore you unknowingly worship, I proclaim to you.
 The God who made the world and all that is in it,
the Lord of heaven and earth,
does not dwell in sanctuaries made by human hands,
nor is he served by human hands because he needs anything.
Rather it is he who gives to everyone life and breath and everything.
He made from one the whole human race
to dwell on the entire surface of the earth,
and he fixed the ordered seasons and the boundaries of their regions,
so that people might seek God,
even perhaps grope for him and find him,
though indeed he is not far from any one of us.
For ‘In him we live and move and have our being,’
as even some of your poets have said,
‘For we too are his offspring.’
Since therefore we are the offspring of God,
we ought not to think that the divinity is like an image
fashioned from gold, silver, or stone by human art and imagination.
God has overlooked the times of ignorance,
but now he demands that all people everywhere repent
because he has established a day on which he will ‘judge the world
with justice’ through a man he has appointed,
and he has provided confirmation for all
by raising him from the dead.”
When they heard about resurrection of the dead,
some began to scoff, but others said,
“We should like to hear you on this some other time.”
And so Paul left them.
But some did join him, and became believers.
Among them were Dionysius,
a member of the Court of the Areopagus,
a woman named Damaris, and others with them.
After this he left Athens and went to Corinth. 
Responsorial Psalm
148:1-2, 11-12, 13, 14
R.    Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
R.    Alleluia.
Praise the LORD from the heavens;
    praise him in the heights.
Praise him, all you his angels;
    praise him, all you his hosts.
R.    Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
R.    Alleluia.
Let the kings of the earth and all peoples,
    the princes and all the judges of the earth,
Young men too, and maidens,
    old men and boys.
R.    Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
R.    Alleluia.
Praise the name of the LORD,
    for his name alone is exalted;
His majesty is above earth and heaven.
R.    Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
R.    Alleluia.
He has lifted up the horn of his people;
Be this his praise from all his faithful ones,
    from the children of Israel, the people close to him. 
R.    Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
R.    Alleluia.
Jn 14:16
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I will ask the Father
and he will give you another Advocate
to be with you always.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Jn 16:12-15
Jesus said to his disciples:
“I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.
But when he comes, the Spirit of truth,
he will guide you to all truth.
He will not speak on his own,
but he will speak what he hears,
and will declare to you the things that are coming.
He will glorify me,
because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.
Everything that the Father has is mine;
for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine
and declare it to you.”
Prayer to Make a Spiritual Communion-
People who cannot communicate now make spiritual communion
At your feet, O my Jesus I bow down and offer you the repentance of my contrite heart, which abysses itself into its nothingness and Your holy presence. I adore you in the Sacrament of Your love, the ineffable Eucharist. I wish to receive you in the poor home that my heart offers you. In anticipation of the happiness of sacramental communion, I want to possess you in spirit. Come to me, oh my Jesus, that I may come to you. May Your love inflame my whole being, for life and death. I believe in you, I hope in you, I love you. So be it. Amen

Saint May 12 : St. Pancras a Martyr and the Patron against Headaches and Cramps with Prayer

~289 AD, Synnada, Phrygia
~304 AD, Via Aurelia, Rome
Major Shrine:
San Pancrazio, Rome
Patron of:
children; invoked against cramp, false witness, headache, and perjury
He is said to have suffered at Rome in the fourteenth year of his age. Having been beheaded for the faith, which he had gloriously confessed under Dioclesian in the year 304, he was interred in the cemetery of Calepodius, which afterwards took his name. His old church in that place was repaired in the fifth century by Pope Symmachus, and in the seventh by pope Honorius I. St. Gregory the Great speaks of his relics. St. Gregory of Tours1 calls him the Avenger of Perjuries, and says that God by a perpetual miracle visibly punished false oaths made before his relics. Pope Vitalian sent a portion of them to king Oswi in 656.2 Italy, England, France, Spain, &c., abound with churches which bear his name.3 See D. Jenichen, Diss. de S. Pancratio, urbis et ecclesiae primariae Giessensis patrono titular), in 4to. anno 1758, at Giessen, a university in Upper Hesse, belonging to the landgrave of Hesse Darmstadt.
Lives of the Saints - Butler
Image Giovan Francesco Barbieri detto il Guercino - Source: Google Images

 PRAYER TO THE ETERNAL FATHER I believe, Heavenly Father, All that Faith teaches, And in that Faith I wish to live and die. Through the intercession of St. Pancratius grant us good health To fulfill our duties. Our Father... Hail Mary... Glory Be...
 PRAYER TO GOD THE SON Our good Jesus, Grant me the virtue of Hope In your promises In the same measure That St. Pancratius always trusted In your Providence, So that I may, Through his intercession, Obtain work and success In all my undertakings. Our Father... Hail Mary... Glory Be... PRAYER TO THE HOLY SPIRIT Grant me the virtue of Charity That I may love God Above all things And my neighbor For the love of God, As St. Pancratious did. Through his intercession I hope to obtain this grace And that of being free From adversities And from ill-intentioned persons. Our Father... Hail Mary... Glory Be...
 CONCLUDING PRAYER O GLORIOUS St. Pancratius, I beg you to obtain for me All the graces that I need, But especially health and work, So that I may appear before you To thank God For the favors I received Through your powerful intercession. Amen. Our Father... Hail Mary... Glory Be...

RIP - Death Toll Rises to 68 Killed during Explosion - Most Victims are School Girls with Over 165 Injured

In Afghanistan the death toll has risen to 68 people killed after a school explosion with most victims being children.

CNBC reports that a car bomb was detonated in front of the Sayed Al-Shuhada school and two more bombs exploded when students rushed out in panic.

Officials said most of those killed were schoolgirls.  

 Some families were still searching hospitals for their children.

President Ashraf Ghani on Saturday blamed Taliban insurgents but a spokesman for the group denied involvement and condemned any attacks on Afghan civilians.

Doctors are struggling to care for 165 injured victims and families searching desperately for missing children.

The neighborhood was called Dasht-e-Barchi, home to a large community of Shi’ites from the Hazara ethnic minority which has been targeted in the past by Islamic State, a Sunni militant group.

Pope Francis called the attack as “inhuman act” in remarks to pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City on Sunday.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also condemned the attack.

The Taliban, have waged war to overthrow the foreign-backed government since they were removed from power in Kabul in 2001.

The US military pullout has begun, with President Joe Biden announcing that all troops will be gone by Sept. 11.

Edited from CNBC

Wow One of the World's most Beautiful Ave Maria's sung by Famous Artist with Images of the Life of Christ - #AveMaria

The "Ave Maria" is a prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus, derived from the New Testament; the Gospel of Luke. This video has had Millions of Views and is one of the most famous Ave Maria's sung in the World - the video also tells the story of the life of Christ with beautiful images. 
Ave Maria, gratia plena, Ave, Ave, Dominus, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, Et benedictus fructus ventris (tui),
Ventris tui, Jesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, Ora pro nobis peccatoribus,
Nunc et in hora mortis, In hora, hora mortis nostrae, AMEN
  Hail Mary, full of grace, Mary, full of grace, Hail, Hail, the Lord, The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women, and Blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Hail Mary! Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us sinners,Now, and at the hour of our death, The hour of our death. AMEN

For Breaking News- Music- Prayers - Movies and More LIKE Facebook.com/catholicnewsworld

Cardinal Ladaria of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith Writes Letter to US Bishops' President Archbishop Gomez on Reception of Communion by Politicians

A letter, dated May 7, 2021, was issued by Cardinal Luis F. Ladaria, S.J., the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to Archbishop José H. Gomez, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. It was a response to a March 30th letter from Archbishop Gomez to the C.D.F. in which he informed the congregation that the U.S.C.C.B. was preparing to draft a document on “the worthiness to receive Communion” of Catholic politicians who support legislation permitting abortion, euthanasia or other moral evils.
According the CNS, Cardinal Luis Ladaria, congregation prefect, reiterated what he said he had told several groups of U.S. bishops during their 2019-2020 "ad limina" visits, namely that "the effective development of a policy in this area requires that dialogue occurs in two stages: first among the bishops themselves, and then between bishops and Catholic pro-choice politicians within their jurisdictions." 
Cardinal Ladaria begins the letter by responding at length to Archbishop Gomez’s request that the C.D.F. make available a copy of a letter from then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to former cardinal Theodore McCarrick in 2004 on the subject. Cardinal Ladaria explained that since it was “in the form of a private letter to the bishops” and Cardinal Ratzinger had stipulated that “these principles were not intended for publication,” the C.D.F. would respect his wish.
At the same time, Cardinal Ladaria acknowledged that the principles contained in the letter may assist the bishops in drafting their document, but they “should only be discussed within the context of the [C.D.F.’s] authoritative doctrinal note” of 2002: “On some questions regarding the participation of Catholics in political life.” He said that text predates Cardinal Ratzinger’s “personal communication” and “provides the teaching of the Magisterium on the theological foundation for any initiative regarding the question of the worthy reception of Holy Communion.”
"Cardinal Ratzinger's communication," he said, "should thus be discussed only within the context of the authoritative doctrinal note which provides the teaching of the magisterium on the theological foundation for any initiative regarding the question of worthy reception of holy Communion."
The 2002 note said, "Those who are directly involved in lawmaking bodies have a 'grave and clear obligation to oppose' any law that attacks human life. For them, as for every Catholic, it is impossible to promote such laws or to vote for them."
The 2002 note did not, however, mention reception of the Eucharist.
Cardinal Ratzinger's 2004 letter, which was never published by the Vatican, said, "Regarding the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia, when a person's formal cooperation becomes manifest -- understood in the case of a Catholic politician as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws -- his pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the church's teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist."
"When 'these precautionary measures have not had their effect or in which they were not possible,' and the person in question, with obstinate persistence, still presents himself to receive the holy Eucharist, 'the minister of holy Communion must refuse to distribute it,'" Cardinal Ratzinger wrote, quoting from a declaration of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts on the issue of Communion for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics.
Writing to Archbishop Gomez, Cardinal Ladaria said the U.S. bishops need an "extensive and serene dialogue" among themselves and between individual bishops and Catholic politicians in their dioceses who do not support the fullness of the church's teaching to understand "the nature of their positions and their comprehension of Catholic teaching."
Only after both dialogues, the cardinal said, the bishops' conference "would face the difficult task of discerning the best way forward for the church in the United States to witness to the grave moral responsibility of Catholic public officials to protect human life at all stages."
"If it is then decided to formulate a national policy on worthiness for Communion, such a statement would need to express a true consensus of the bishops on the matter, while observing the prerequisite that any provisions of the conference in this area would respect the rights of individual ordinaries in their dioceses and the prerogatives of the Holy See," the cardinal said, citing St. John Paul II's 1998 document on bishops' conferences.
Cardinal Ladaria specifically pointed to paragraphs 22 of the document, "Apostolos Suos," which says bishops' conferences may publish doctrinal declarations when they are "approved unanimously," but "a majority alone" is not enough for publication without the approval of the Vatican.
He also cited paragraph 24, which says the bishops' conference cannot hinder an individual bishop's authority in his diocese "by substituting themselves inappropriately for him, where the canonical legislation does not provide for a limitation of his episcopal power in favor of the episcopal conference."
(Edited from Angelus News from Catholic News Service of the USCCB)
According to America Magazine; the counsel from the congregation seems to suggest clearly that the drafting of a document as envisaged by the U.S.C.C.B. president is something that cannot be rushed and would inevitably take time, and it would have to reflect “true consensus” among the bishops, something that cannot be taken for granted now.
The CDF's letter may lead to a reconsideration of the plan of some bishops to get the conference to approve the document. 
In the letter to Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, Cardinal Ladaria also insisted: such a policy cannot usurp the authority of an individual bishop in his diocese on the matter; the policy would require near unanimity; and it would be "misleading" to present abortion and euthanasia as "the only grave matters of Catholic moral and social teaching that demand the fullest level of accountability on the part of Catholics."

Former Coptic Orthodox Monk Receives Death Penalty for Murdering Bishop Epiphanios

Agenzia Fides reports that in Damanhur Prison, the death penalty was carried out against Wael Saad Tawadros, the former Coptic Orthodox monk convicted of murdering Bishop Epiphanios. The bishop was found dead on 29 July 2018 in the Monastery of San Macario of which he was Abbot. The news of the execution was confirmed on Sunday, May 9th, by the relatives of the man sentenced to death. "We were informed this morning at 8.00 that the execution took place in Damanhur prison, and I am on my way to recover the body", a brother of the man sentenced to death told the Egyptian media. 
The entire Coptic Church and in particular the network of monastic communities was shocked at the killing of the bishop. On July 1, 2020, the Supreme Court in Egypt upheld the death sentence already imposed on Wael Saad Tawadros in the first instance, while a death sentence initially pronounced against his accomplice, the monk Falta'os Al-Makary, was turned into life imprisonment. Throughout the trial, both defendants declared themselves innocent and withdrew previous confessions of guilt, which they said had been blackmailed through investigative psychological pressure. As emerges from the investigations on which the trial is based, there were disputes between the murdered abbot and the two convicts over economic issues and various violations of the monks' rules by the two monks. Anba Epiphanius, aged 64 at the time of the murder, was a native of Tanta and a doctor of medicine. In 1984 he entered the monastery of San Macario in the Wadi Natrun region and was ordained a priest in 2002. As a researcher and scholar, he had worked on translations from Greek into Arabic of various books of the Bible and participated as an expert at the 10th International Conference on Coptic Studies, held in Rome in 2012. The majority of the 100 monks of the monastery of San Macario elected him abbot on February 3, 2013. He was a student of Matta el Meskin - the spiritual father and key figure in the recent history of the Coptic Orthodox monastery - and enjoyed intense spiritual moments with monastic communities of the Catholic Church. The tragic story of Anba Epiphanios accelerated the process of discernment around the monastic life already started some time ago within the Coptic Orthodox Church. On Friday, August 3, 2018, the Committee of the Holy Synod responsible for Coptic Orthodox monasteries approved 12 rules. The rules already ratified by Patriarch Tawadros II should henceforth be obeyed by everyone who lives in a monastic community of the Coptic Orthodox Church. (GV) (Edited from Agenzia Fides, 10/5/2021)

Priests in Germany Defiantly Offer Blessings to Same-Sex Couples Despite the Vatican Ban - Cardinal Warns of Possible Schism

Catholic congregations in Germany have been blessing same sex couples. Over 100 Catholic priests in Germany have offered blessings to same sex couples this week. The Church in Germany does not permit this, and the Vatican forbids it.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church, official Catholic teachings, calls homosexual relations "contrary to the natural law."  
The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome issued a  responsum (response) forbidding blessings for same-sex partnerships. Their text was, as the authors stressed, "endorsed" by Pope Francis. Certain Catholic groups in Germany, were offended by the Vatican response.  
The Church in Germany also has a synodal path (synodaler Weg), a gathering of bishops and laypeople working on reforms. One of their main calls is for allowing the ordination of women as priests and deacons. 

In response to this, an Italian cardinal warned of schism in Germany. The former Bishops' Conference chairman Ruini was worried about the announced blessing celebrations for homosexual couples in Germany. 

Cardinal Camillo Ruini (90), the former long-time chairman of the Italian Bishops' Conference, expressed concern about the planned blessing celebrations for homosexual couples in Germany. He did not hope that this would lead to a schism, but said the danger existed, Ruini explained to the newspaper "Il Foglio" (online edition). With the supported initiative, according to Ruini, problems that have existed for some time will come to light. He also sees this in the Synodal Way, which clearly states "goals: not only the blessing of same-sex couples, but also the priesthood for women, the abolition of the obligation to church celibacy, intercommunion between Catholics and Protestants". Ruini referred to a response from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in March. Accordingly, homosexual connections are not allowed to receive a blessing. Only that which corresponds to God's designs can be blessed - not that which contradicts them, he said. As secretary and then as president of the Italian Bishops' Conference from 1986 to 2008 he decisively determined the line of the country's Catholic Church - spiritually as well as politically.

Pope Francis Establishes Ministry of Catechist "The ministry of Catechist in the Church is an ancient one." FULL TEXT Motu Proprio

Pope Francis establishes ministry of catechist With a new Apostolic Letter issued “motu proprio,” Pope Francis establishes the lay ministry of catechist, intended to respond to an urgent need for the evangelisation of the modern world, and undertaken in a “secular” manner, avoiding clericalisation. (Vatican News)





1. The ministry of Catechist in the Church is an ancient one. Theologians commonly hold that the first examples are already present in the writings of the New Testament. The service of catechesis may be traced back to those “teachers” mentioned by the Apostle in writing to the community of Corinth: “Some people God has designated in the Church to be, first, apostles; second, prophets; third, teachers; then, mighty deeds; then, gifts of healing, assistance, administration, and varieties of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work mighty deeds? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? Strive eagerly for the greatest spiritual gifts. But I shall show you a still more excellent way” (1 Cor 12:28-31).

Saint Luke begins his Gospel by stating: “I too have decided, after investigating everything accurately anew, to write it down in an orderly sequence for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may realize the certainty of the teachings you have received” (Lk 1:3-4). The evangelist seems to be well aware that his writings offer a specific form of instruction that can give firm assurance to those already baptized. The Apostle Paul, for his part, tells the Galatians that: “one who is being instructed in the word should share all good things with his instructor” (Gal 6:6). As is evident, this text provides yet another detail; it speaks of the communion of life as a sign of the fruitfulness of an authentic catechesis.

2. From the beginning, the Christian community was characterized by many different forms of ministry carried out by men and women who, obedient to the working of the Holy Spirit, devoted their lives to the building up of the Church. At times, the charisms that the Spirit constantly pours out on the baptized took on a visible and tangible form of immediate service to the Christian community, one recognized as an indispensable diakonia for the community. The Apostle Paul authoritatively attests to this when he states that “there are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit. To one is given through the Spirit the expression of wisdom; to another the expression of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit; to another mighty deeds; to another prophecy; to another discernment of spirits; to another varieties of tongues; to another interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit produces all of these, distributing them individually to each person as he wishes” (1 Cor 12:4-11).

Within the broader charismatic tradition of the New Testament, then, we can see that certain baptized persons exercised the ministry of transmitting in a more organic and stable form related to different situations in life the teaching of the apostles and evangelists (cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation Dei Verbum, 8). The Church wished to acknowledge this service as a concrete expression of a personal charism that contributed greatly to the exercise of her mission of evangelization. This glance at the life of the first Christian communities engaged in the spread of the Gospel also encourages the Church in our day to appreciate possible new ways for her to remain faithful to the word of the Lord so that his Gospel can be preached to every creature.

3. The history of evangelization over the past two millennia clearly shows the effectiveness of the mission of catechists. Bishops, priests and deacons, together with many men and women in the consecrated life, devoted their lives to catechetical instruction so that the faith might be an effective support for the life of every human being. Some of them also gathered around themselves others of their brothers and sisters sharing the same charism, and founded religious orders wholly dedicated to catechesis.

Nor can we forget the countless lay men and women who directly took part in the spread of the Gospel through catechetical instruction. Men and women of deep faith, authentic witnesses of holiness, who in some cases were also founders of Churches and eventually died as martyrs. In our own day too, many competent and dedicated catechists are community leaders in various parts of the world and carry out a mission invaluable for the transmission and growth of the faith.  The long line of blesseds, saints and martyrs who were catechists has significantly advanced the Church’s mission and deserves to be recognized, for it represents a rich resource not only for catechesis but also for the entire history of Christian spirituality.

4. Beginning with the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, the Church has come to a renewed appreciation of the importance of lay involvement in the work of evangelization. The Council Fathers repeatedly emphasized the great need for the lay faithful to be engaged directly, in the various ways their charism can be expressed, in the “plantatio Ecclesiae” and the development of the Christian community. “Worthy of praise too is that army of catechists, both men and women, to whom missionary work among the nations is so indebted, who imbued with an apostolic spirit make an outstanding and absolutely necessary contribution to the spread of the faith and the Church by their great work. In our days, when there are so few clerics to evangelize such great multitudes and to carry out the pastoral ministry, the role of catechists is of the highest importance” (cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Church’s Missionary Activity Ad Gentes, 17).

Along with the important teaching of the Council, mention should be made of the constant interest of the Popes, the Synod of Bishops, the Episcopal Conferences and individual Bishops who, in recent decades have contributed to a significant renewal of catechesis. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Apostolic Exhortation Catechesi Tradendae, the General Catechetical Directory, the General Directory for Catechesis and the recent Directory for Catechesis, as well as the many national, regional and diocesan Catechisms, have confirmed the centrality of a catechesis that gives priority to the education and ongoing formation of believers.

5. Without prejudice to the Bishop’s mission as the primary catechist in his Diocese, one which he shares with his presbyterate, or to the particular responsibility of parents for the Christian formation of their children (cf. CIC can. 774 §2; CCEO can. 618), recognition should be given to those lay men and women who feel called by virtue of their baptism to cooperate in the work of catechesis (cf. CIC can. 225; CCEO cans. 401 and 406). This presence is all the more urgently needed today as a result of our increasing awareness of the need for evangelization in the contemporary world (cf. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, 163-168), and the rise of a globalized culture (cf. Encyclical Letter Fratelli Tutti, 100138). This requires genuine interaction with young people, to say nothing of the need for creative methodologies and resources capable of adapting the proclamation of the Gospel to the missionary transformation that the Church has undertaken. Fidelity to the past and responsibility for the present are necessary conditions for the Church to carry out her mission in the world.

Awakening personal enthusiasm on the part of all the baptized and reviving the awareness of their call to carry out a proper mission in the community demands attentiveness to the voice of the Spirit, who is unfailingly present and fruitful (cf. CIC can. 774 §1; CCEO can. 617). Today, too, the Spirit is calling men and women to set out and encounter all those who are waiting to discover the beauty, goodness, and truth of the Christian faith. It is the task of pastors to support them in this process and to enrich the life of the Christian community through the recognition of lay ministries capable of contributing to the transformation of society through the “penetration of Christian values into the social, political and economic sectors” (Evangelii Gaudium, 102).

6. The lay apostolate is unquestionably “secular”. It requires that the laity “seek the kingdom of God by engaging in temporal affairs and directing them according to God’s will” (cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, 31). In their daily life, interwoven with family and social relationships, the laity come to realize that they “are given this special vocation: to make the Church present and fruitful in those places and circumstances where it is only through them that she can become the salt of the earth” (ibid., 33). We do well to remember, however, that in addition to this apostolate, “the laity can be called in different ways to more immediate cooperation in the apostolate of the hierarchy, like those men and women who helped the apostle Paul in the Gospel, working hard in the Lord” (ibid.).

The role played by catechists is one specific form of service among others within the Christian community. Catechists are called first to be expert in the pastoral service of transmitting the faith as it develops through its different stages from the initial proclamation of the kerygma to the instruction that presents our new life in Christ and prepares for the sacraments of Christian initiation, and then to the ongoing formation that can allow each person to give an accounting of the hope within them (cf. 1 Pet 3:15). At the same time, every catechist must be a witness to the faith, a teacher and mystagogue, a companion and pedagogue, who teaches for the Church. Only through prayer, study, and direct participation in the life of the community can they grow in this identity and the integrity and responsibility that it entails (cf. Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, Directory for Catechesis, 113).

7. With great foresight, Saint Paul VI issued the Apostolic Letter Ministeria Quaedam with the intention not only of adapting the ministries of Lector and Acolyte to changed historical circumstances (cf. Apostolic Letter Spiritus Domini), but also of encouraging Episcopal Conferences to promote other ministries, including that of Catechist. “In addition to the ministries common to the entire Latin Church, nothing prevents Episcopal Conferences from asking the Apostolic See for the institution of others, which for particular reasons, they consider necessary or very useful in their own region. Among these are, for example, the offices of PorterExorcist and Catechist.” The same pressing invitation is found in the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi; in calling for a discernment of the present needs of the Christian community in faithful continuity with its origins, the Pope encouraged the development of new forms of ministry for a renewed pastoral activity. “Such ministries, apparently new but closely tied up with the Church’s living experience down the centuries, such as that of catechists… are valuable for the establishment, life, and growth of the Church, and for her capacity to influence her surroundings and to reach those who are remote from her” (SAINT PAUL VI, Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi, 73).

To be sure, “there has been a growing awareness of the identity and mission of the laity in the Church. We can indeed count on many lay persons, although still not nearly enough, who have a deeply-rooted sense of community and great fidelity to the tasks of charity, catechesis and the celebration of the faith” (Evangelii Gaudium, 102). It follows that the reception of a lay ministry such as that of Catechist will emphasize even more the missionary commitment proper to every baptized person, a commitment that must however be carried out in a fully “secular” manner, avoiding any form of clericalization.

8. This ministry has a definite vocational aspect, as evidenced by the Rite of Institution, and consequently calls for due discernment on the part of the Bishop. It is in fact a stable form of service rendered to the local Church in accordance with pastoral needs identified by the local Ordinary, yet one carried out as a work of the laity, as demanded by the very nature of the ministry. It is fitting that those called to the instituted ministry of Catechist be men and women of deep faith and human maturity, active participants in the life of the Christian community, capable of welcoming others, being generous and living a life of fraternal communion. They should also receive suitable biblical, theological, pastoral and pedagogical formation to be competent communicators of the truth of the faith and they should have some prior experience of catechesis (cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus, 14; CIC can. 231 §1; CCEO can. 409 §1). It is essential that they be faithful co-workers with priests and deacons, prepared to exercise their ministry wherever it may prove necessary, and motivated by true apostolic enthusiasm.

Therefore, after having taken all things into consideration, and by apostolic authority

I establish

the lay ministry of Catechist

The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments will soon publish the Rite of Institution of the lay ministry of Catechist.

9. I invite the Episcopal Conferences to render effective the ministry of Catechist, determining the necessary process of formation and the normative criteria for admission to this ministry and devising the most appropriate forms for the service which these men and women will be called to exercise in conformity with the content of this Apostolic Letter.

10. The Synods of the Oriental Churches or the Assemblies of Hierarchs may adopt what is established here for their respective Churches sui iuris, in accordance with their particular law.

11. Bishops should make every effort to comply with the exhortation of the Council Fathers: “Pastors… know that they were not established by Christ to undertake by themselves the entire saving mission of the Church to the world. They appreciate, rather, that it is their exalted task to shepherd the faithful and at the same time acknowledge their ministries and charisms so that all in their separate ways, but of one mind, may cooperate in the common task” (Lumen Gentium, 30). May the discernment of the gifts that the Holy Spirit never fails to grant to the Church sustain their efforts to make the lay ministry of Catechist effective for the growth of their communities.

I order that what has been laid down by this Apostolic Letter issued “Motu Proprio” have firm and stable effect, anything to the contrary notwithstanding, even if worthy of special mention, and that it be promulgated by publication in L’Osservatore Romano, taking effect that same day, and published thereafter in the official commentary of the Acta Apostolicae Sedis.

Given in Rome, at Saint John Lateran, on the tenth day of May in the year 2021, the liturgical memorial of Saint John of Avila, Priest and Doctor of the Church, the ninth of my Pontificate.


FULL TEXT Release : Vatican.va