Vatican City, Nov 24, 2004 / 22:00 pm
Receiving participants this morning in the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for Laity who are reflecting on the theme "Discover once again the true face of the Parish," Pope John Paul II stated that the parish is the “place par excellence to announce Christ and educate people in the faith.”
"The first step” towards the rediscovery of the parish, indicated the Pope, “consists in helping the lay faithful to discover once again the true face of the parish .... the place par excellence to announce Christ and to educate people in the faith. Precisely for this reason it must be constantly renewed in order to become the true 'community of all communities,' capable of truly incisive missionary activity."
"In this year dedicated to the Eucharist," he added, "we must remember that the Eucharist is the beating heart of the parish, font of its mission and presence which continually renews it."
The Holy Father expressed his hope that the assembly's reflection on the parish "may help everyone to understand better that the parish community is a place to encounter Christ and our brothers and sisters."