Open parish doors to evangelize, urges Pope
Pope Francis celebrates the sacrament of confirmation with young people Dec. 1, 2013. Credit: Lauren Cater/CNA.
Pope Francis celebrates the sacrament of confirmation with young people Dec. 1, 2013. Credit: Lauren Cater/CNA.
By Kerri Lenartowick
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- In a meeting with nearly 7,000 members of the Italian lay movement Catholic Action, Pope Francis spoke of the need for parishes to be open and outgoing.

“It’s a matter of opening the doors and allowing Jesus to be able to go outside. Many times we have Jesus closed inside the parish with us, and we don’t go outside and we don’t let him go out!” said the Pope on May 3. “Open the doors because He goes, at least He does! It’s a matter of an ‘outgoing’ Church: a Church always going out.”

Pope Francis encouraged the many Catholic Action members gathered in Rome’s Paul VI Audience Hall to continue their work of evangelization in the parishes, “especially those marked by tiredness and closure--and there are many.”

Local church communities should instead be marked by a welcoming spirit, he noted.

“When I greet the parish secretaries, I ask them: ‘but are you the secretaries that open the door or those who close the door?’ These parishes need your apostolic enthusiasm, your full availability, and your creative service,” he continued.

Pope Francis then reflected on three verbs that indicated the style of evangelization necessary to Catholic Action: to remain, to go, and to rejoice.

All faithful Catholics are called to be “heralds and witnesses of Christ” and must remain close to Jesus.

It is in the “encounter with the One who is our life and our joy, that our testimony acquires new meaning and new strength every day,” said the Pope.

But it is not enough to remain static in one’s faith, stressed the Pope. “Never stop: go forward!” he exclaimed. “Go along the streets of your cities and of your countries, and announce that God is Father and that Jesus Christ has made himself known to you, and through this, your lives have changed.”

“Finally, rejoice. Rejoice and exult in the Lord always! Be people who sing life, sing faith!”

Pope Francis noted that the practicing of ‘singing the faith’ dates back to St. Augustine who lived 1,600 years ago. “Speak the faith, live the faith with joy, and this is called ‘singing the faith.’”

The pontiff also warned against the temptation to “quietude” which “has nothing to do with remaining in Jesus” but rather is a “temptation to closure” or “a life too similar to a museum statue.”

Rather, he encouraged those present to have a living and joyful faith which readily responds to the needs of others.

“Let us ask the Lord, for all us, eyes that can see beyond appearances, ears that can hear cries, whispers, and even silence; hands that know how to support, embrace and heal. Let us ask above all for a wide and merciful heart that desires the good and the salvation of all.”

Finally, he concluded by asking the intercession of the Virgin Mary, “who always follows Jesus, accompanying him until the very end.”

Tags: Evangelization, Pope Francis, Parish revival

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Liturgical Calendar

January 27, 2015

Tuesday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 3:22-30


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 3:22-30