2013-05-18 18:13:38

Pope calls Ecclesial Movements to Rome for Pentecost Vigil

Vatican City, 18 May 2013: Tens of thousands of men, women and children descend on the Vatican to celebrate the Pentecost Vigil together with Pope Francis on Saturday. Pope Francis has called the New Movements and Ecclesial Communities to Rome to invoke the Holy Spirit upon them and their continued mission in the life of the Church. Similar celebrations had also taken place during the time of Blessed John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI.
While speaking with Vatican Radio’s Emer McCarthy, Fr. Gino Sylva, an official at the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization, said: “The Year of Faith is placing Jesus Christ at the very center of the New Evangelization and we see the mission taking place and given life through so many of these different Movements, through their particular ministries and outreaches, they are proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ”

These realities, said Fr. Gino, are becoming increasingly popular not only in mission territories but in the parishes and diocese of the ‘old Church’. They include movements such as Communion and Liberation, the Foccolari, the Neocatechumenal Way, the Saint’Egidio Community, New Horizons, the Emmanuel Community and many more. Each community has its own particular history and charism, some are dedicated to promoting catechesis within parish life, others to outreach among young people, others still to inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue. Yet all of them have one thing in common: Jesus Christ is at the very center of their every action.

Launching this weekend’s initiative Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, noted that, to effectively celebrate the Year of Faith, it was not possible to overlook a gathering with the ecclesial realities, which are one of the Vatican II’s Council's most evident results.

“In organizing the Year of Faith,” Archbishop Fisichella said, “we hoped to create a moment of encounter, of prayer, exchange, and listening that would allow us to live and to continue along the path of the new evangelization with as much strength and motivation. The objective and the purpose remain identical and common for all: to bring the joy of the Gospel to every person.”

“Over 120,000 people, in fact, have signaled their attendance. Around 150 different ecclesial realities coming from [around the world] are registered … attesting to the fact that the Church's catholicity knows no boundaries.” Under the slogan, “I Believe! Increase our Faith”, the gathering began with a pilgrimage for the various groups to the tomb of St. Peter throughout the morning of 18 May starting from 7:00am. Then, at 3:00pm, a welcoming ceremony with reflection, music, and testimonials was held in St. Peter's Square.
Pope Francis will join the celebration with a moment of prayer in front of the image of the Virgin Mary Salus Populi Romani. Among those present there will also be a large number of people with various disabilities, the parents of a child killed in the earthquake in L'Aquila, Italy, and Italian politicians belonging to the Communion and Liberation movement. The event will conclude with the celebration of Mass, presided by Pope Francis, on Sunday, 19 May, at 10:00am in St. Peter's Square.Source: VR Eng

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