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Jul 242018

Lay and lay Christians, subjects in the “outgoing Church”, in the service of the Kingdom. Salt of the earth and light of the world

In this year of 2018, the National Conference of Brazilian Bishops [CNBB] proposes to the Church a deepening of the importance of the laity who have always been present in the life and mission of the Church. They are Church. Throughout history, lay people had ample space to live their vocation, as they were baptized. It is enough to look at the many Third Orders, the Ecclesial Movements, the New Communities, the many organized pastoral ones. They are engaged laypersons, pastoral agents, determined to live the Gospel on a daily basis.

The mission of faith of the laity in daily life and in the Church

Illustrative photo: Wesley Almeida /

The Church is formed, in its expressive majority, of laymen. There are few clergymen: deacons, elders, and bishops who are at the service of the laity. On the laity, the Catechism says: “in their ecclesial communities their action is so necessary that without them the apostolate of pastors can not, for the most part, obtain its full effect” (CCC 900).

From the time the New Testament was written, lay people are important and have their place in the communities. Luke, in chapter 8: 1-3, speaks of the women who followed Jesus and helped in His mission. Let us look at the friends of St. Paul in his travels (2 Tim 4: 19); Jesus’ mother and father, Mary and Joseph, were lay people. Again: when Jesus was born, his first worshipers were the laity (Lk 2: 15-20).

Acting is much more productive than talking

To fulfill his mission well, the layperson needs to know that he is baptized, and therefore has the grace and obligation to live and proclaim the Gospel. He must seek to make a pastoral commitment, according to the gift received from the Lord. Still, it is good to remember that the layperson should work with pastors. Let us remember: the Church lives from the Eucharist . This year, unfortunately, it is common to see in social networks people who criticize their pastors and proclaim, from the top of their couches, how the Church should act. It would be much more helpful if they would make themselves available to visit the hospitals, assist in catechesis, in the cleaning of churches, and in evangelize the outlying communities, helping in the pastoral work of tithing, and, in the end, make sure that all our brothers and sisters have work, health and education: a dignified life. Acting is much more productive than talking.

The purpose of this Year of the Layman is: “As Church, People of God, celebrate the presence and organization of lay Christians in Brazil; deepen their identity, vocation , spirituality and mission; and witness to Jesus Christ and His Kingdom in society. “ With this Year, we seek “the affirmation of lay and lay Christians as true ecclesial subjects, acting in the different realities in which they are inserted, in the Church and in the world.”

May lay people have coherence between their professed faith and daily life! After all, the world and the history of humanity are the great field of the action of God’s love. We can do more, we can do better. Let us live the great gift that God has given us: the Gospel! 

translation: Subscribe to the Canção Nova YouTube channel


His excellency João Inácio Müller

Archbishop João Inácio Müller is Bishop of the Diocese of Lorena (Sao Paulo) and writer for Canção Nova Magazine.

This is not an official translation, the original Portuguese column can be read by clicking here. [ed.]

 Posted by at 01:01
Aug 282016

Archbishop José Antônio Peruzzo disseminates post for the day of Sunday school teacher that will be celebrated on August 28


Dom PeruzzoThe Episcopal Commission for the Pastoral Biblical support of the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil (CNBB) released a message for catechists from all over the country, on the occasion of the day that recognizes them, 28 August, in the context of the recognitions also celebrated this month. The text is signed by the Archbishop of Curitiba Paraná, Brazil and President of the Commission, Archbishop José Antônio Peruzzo.

“On behalf of the Brazilian Bishops want to serve you on this date giving a word permeated with sincere affection and immense gratitude. . Although it is not possible to be sufficiently grateful to such dedication, with great simplicity, I offer a  grateful reflection”, wrote the Archbishop.

In the message, the catechists are invited to remember memory their vocation, reminding them of steps and challenges before the call to evangelize through catechesis.

“Your yes helped the Church to be Evangelizing; to be more Church. Your dedication to the role of Catechist (the) reminds us that the Lord Jesus wants to be known more for his love than by doctrine, “Archbishop Don Peruzzo catechists.

Dearest sister , dearest brother Catechist.

The ways of the Church in Brazil indicate the month of August with a noble particularity. The vocational theme receives strong accentuation: father’s [of a family] day, father [priest] day, religious day, day of the Catechist. Scheduled for August 28.

On behalf of the Brazilian Bishops I want to serve you on this date by giving a word permeated with sincere affection and immense gratitude. Although it is not possible to be sufficiently grateful to such dedication, with great simplicity, I offer a  grateful reflection.

I start by calling you to recall a personal experience very singular: remember when someone addressed the invitation to become a Catechist. Certainly it is present in your memory, sentences and context.Remember also your own reaction. Maybe concern, or doubt, or fear for not feeling no being able It’s even possible that you have touched on the concern for the lack of time …

Even so, although with so many objections, you accepted. I’m sure the reasons that moved to accept are still well present  … And the Holy Spirit was there: you moved, you stood, you were nervous. And behold, from your freedom and from your ability to love there was a movement of loving affection through you, by the community, by “your” students being catechized.

Today, having already passed much good time, maybe years, I offer you two very simple questions: did you give more or did you receive more? Did you learn more than you taught? It is true that discouragement sometimes presented itself; also signs of the cross became pronounced. But how much did you grow! How many signs of the proximity of God! How many experiences of faith. Catechesis is a path, a discipleship, a meeting that lasts through the years. But the Lord is never outdone in generosity. How grace!!!

Your yes helped the Church be Evangelizing; to be more Church. Your dedication to the roles of Catechist reminds  us that the Lord Jesus wants to be known more for his love than by doctrine. That is why the Brazilian episcopate thanks you, dear Catechist. And on this day, we praise the Lord for your Ministry. That God may multiply in you blessings and that blessing You are to our Church.
Archbishop Jose Antonio Peruzzo

Archbishop of Curitiba-PR
President of the Episcopal Commission for the Pastoral Biblical-Catechetical Support of the National Conference of Brazilian Bishops. 

portuguese version

 Posted by at 01:01
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