Evangelisation is a priority mission for the Church, Pope Francis told a mass gathering of members of the Neocatechumenal Way, including about 500 Australians. Source: The Catholic Leader.
The crowd gathered to mark the 50th anniversary of the Neocatechumenal Way's arrival in Rome.
“It is easier to stay home,” Pope Francis told 150,000 people at the Tor Vergata university campus on the outskirts of Rome on May 5, but this “is not the way of Jesus”, who sends out his disciples with the word, “Go!”
“Go. The mission demands that we leave,” Pope Francis urged the rally.
“Go. A powerful call that resonates in every corner of Christian life; a clear invitation always to be outbound, pilgrims in the world in the search for the brother who still does not know the joy of God’s love.”
On stage with cardinals and bishops from around the world, Pope Francis described the charism of the Neocatechumenal Way as “a great gift from God for the Church of our time”.
Faithful from 135 countries were present, including the hundreds of cheering Australians, waving national flags and applauding the Pope’s message.
“The atmosphere at the meeting was wonderful – very relaxed and joyful,” Fr Anthony Trafford, one of the national “Responsibles” for the Neocatechumenal Way in Australia, said.
“We are very pleased at what the Pope said – it gives us great joy.”
The Neocatechumenal Way is a Catholic community founded in 1964 in Madrid by Spanish artist Kiko Argüello, dedicated to post and pre-baptismal formation of Christians, based on the Word of God, the Eucharist and the Christian community.
The “Way” engages families who through their witness and life serve to establish the presence of the Church in countries where the Church is absent or tiny, or to revive and strengthen the presence of Catholic communities in difficult and highly secularised areas.
About 40,000 parish-based communities have grown worldwide, and there are about 70 communities in 13 dioceses across Australia.
Among the Australian contingent in Rome were scores of young Catholics and families from every capital.