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LAY FAITHFUL

52. The lay faithful are incorporated in Christ through Baptism and Confirmation and are called, by virtue of their participation in the priestly, prophetic and kingly mission of Christ, to exercise various apostolates connected with the pastoral ministry: “As far as possible the lay faithful ought to collaborate in every apostolic missionary undertaking sponsored by their own ecclesial family” (AA 19).

53. It is the specific vocation of the lay people to seek the Kingdom of God by engaging in temporal affairs and ordering them in the spirit of Christ according to the plan of God (LG 31; cf. EN 70; EA 45). The lay faithful make a specifically Christian contribution to the restructuring of the social order. “The arena of their missionary work is the vast and complex worlds of politics, economics, industry, education, the media, the arts and sports” (EA 45). They need to form themselves in the faith, especially in the social doctrine of the Church.

54. In order to be equipped with knowledge and skills for this leadership they need to have a firm grounding in the Theology of Earthly Realities – civic, political, economic, social, ecological and cultural – by means of a thorough understanding of the Bible, Liturgy and Catechesis. Particular emphasis should be given to eco-spirituality given the fact that the stewarding of this universe has been entrusted to us (cf. EA 41).

55. The formation of the lay faithful should take place primarily at the parish level, particularly through the SCCs, so that a maximum number of people are involved in the processes of social transformation. “Pastoral planning with the lay faithful should be a normal feature of al parishes” (EA 25).

56. Recommendations

 

  • 56.1 The Diocesan Centre for Lay Apostolate (DCLA) should propose a broad plan of an on-going integrated Human and Christian Formation for the lay faithful as the top priority of our Diocese. The following Recommendations will be implemented by the DCLA.
  • 56.2 Programmes should be organised to make the lay faithful conscious of the urgent need of their presence and involvement in civic life, in order to enable them to be agents of renewal in society.
  • 56.3 The lay faithful should be trained in the Christian life and mission through courses, seminars and action-oriented programmes at the parish and deanery level. Since the Family is the vital cell of every Parish, specifically family oriented courses and seminars, taking into account family values, concerns and issues should be conducted. Programmes with the participation of the entire family would be a new ay of revitalizing family life.
  • 56.4 By means of regular visits to all the families living in the neighbourhood/ward, the animators of the SCCs would be able to exercise their lay leadership. Likewise, the PPC members could be made responsible for the animation of Christian life in their respective zones. The PPC members could also see to the coordination of all the apostolates of parish associations.
  • 56.5 Committed and capable lay persons could be sent for specialised courses on Leadership and Theological Formation leading even to a degree. These persons are expected to provide their services for the building up of the parish community.
  • 56.6 Each parish community should have a library where relevant Christian literature and documents of the Church are made available. Relevant documents of the Church should be published in Konkani within a reasonably short time after their release. Circulars and Pastoral Letters of the Bishop should be released in Konkani and in English. The official Bulletin of our Diocese, RENEWAL, should contain articles of interest to the lay faithful. It should reach as many faithful as possible.
  • 56.7 Different talents and charisms of the lay faithful should be acknowledged and duly utilised in all spheres of pastoral action in the Parish. LAY MINISTRIES, eg. for prisoners, the sick, people living with HIV/AIDS, the aged, alcoholics, workers, and various professional groups, should be promoted.
  • 56.8 Lay faithful who live/opt for a single life as a vocation in the Church need to be duly recognized and assisted to the extent possible by the Church in Goa.

Golden Verse

1Korintkarank 7:38

Mhonnttôch aplê ankvar hoklê lagim logn zata to borem korta; ani logn zaina to odik borem korta.
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