Members of the confraternities of Italy came to meet the Pope on the 25th anniversary of their union. The Pope urged them not to remain complacent, but to renew the congregation in the communion of the Church.
(Vatican News Network)Pope Francis received members of the Confederazione delle Confraternite delle Diocesi d’Italia (Confederazione delle Confraternite delle Diocesi d’Italia) in the Vatican Apostolic Building on January 16. The alliance was created in 2000 “in the context of the Great Jubilee”, which Pope Francis called “the leaven” within the Italian ecclesiastical and social structure, capable of fermenting the collective spirit.
There are about 3,200 charity associations joining the alliance, with a total of two million members. In Italy, there are still more than 3,000 charities that have not joined the Federation. During this audience, the Pope proposed three major principles to these associations: evangelical, ecclesiastical, and missionary. Specifically, it is to follow in the footsteps of Christ, to walk hand in hand, and to go forward while evangelizing.
The Pope’s Mercy becomes a place of evangelization, where all members draw closer to the Gospel and recite it every day, because the Gospel “grows the heart”.
“I urge you to develop a Christ-centred attitude in your life, to listen to the word of God daily, to organize and participate in formation activities regularly, to receive the sacraments frequently, and to live a life filled with personal moments of prayer and liturgy. May your traditions of liturgy and worship be truly embraced. Inspired by a zealous spiritual life, inspired by concrete acts of charity. Do not be afraid to renew the congregation on the path of the Church, in communion, so that it becomes a grace accessible and understandable to all.”
In moving forward together, the Pope pointed out that formation, discernment and decision-making are “the experience of walking together through generations”, “always and above all a place to listen to God, to the Church, to the dialogue of brothers in an atmosphere of prayer and piety and charity”. Only in this way can associations become “living communities” that “find new paths of service and evangelization”.
As for preaching the Gospel, that is, missionary, it needs the testimony of faith and takes care of brothers and sisters. The Pope clarified that many charitable associations are taking care of their brothers and sisters during this epidemic, especially those who suffer from “the new poverty of our time”. The new poverty is plentiful and needs to be identified. “Please keep your service and missionary grace alive, responding with creativity and courage to the needs of our time.”
The Pope concluded by inviting members of the congregations to be missionaries of God’s love, tenderness and mercy.
Link URL: www.vaticannews.cn