ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI
TO MEMBERS OF THE NEOCATECHUMENAL WAY
Paul VI Audience Hall
Thursday, 12 January 2006
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I warmly thank you for your visit, which gives me the opportunity to send a
special greeting also to the other members of the Neocatechumenal Way
scattered in so many parts of the world. I address my thoughts to each one
present, starting with the venerable Cardinals, Bishops and priests. I greet
those in charge of the Neocatechumenal Way: Mr Kiko Argüello, whom I thank
for his words on your behalf, Ms Carmen Hernández and Fr Mario Pezzi. I
greet the seminarians, the young people and especially the families that are
preparing to receive a special missionary "mandate" to go to various nations,
especially in Latin America.
This is a task that fits into the context of the new evangelization in which
the family plays a role more important than ever. You have asked that the
Successor of Peter confer this mandate as my venerable Predecessor John Paul
II did in the past, on 12 December 1994, because you intend your apostolic
action to take place in the heart of the Church, in total harmony with her
directives and in communion with the particular Churches in which you are
going to work, making the most of the riches of the charisms that the Lord
has awakened through the Founders of the Way.
Dear families, the crucifix you will receive will be your inseparable
travelling companion while you proclaim with your missionary action that
only in Jesus Christ, who died and was raised, is there salvation. You will
be his docile and joyful witnesses, walking the highways of every continent
in simplicity and poverty, sustained by ceaseless prayer and listening to
the Word of God and nourished by participation in the liturgical life of the
particular Churches to which you are sent.
The importance in evangelization of the liturgy, and in particular of Holy
Mass, has often been stressed by my Predecessors, and your long experience
can certainly confirm that the centrality of the mystery of Christ
celebrated in the liturgical rites is a privileged and indispensable way to
build living and persevering Christian communities.
Precisely to help the Neocatechumenal Way to render even more effective its
evangelizing action in communion with all the People of God, the
Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments
recently imparted to you in my name certain norms concerning the Eucharistic
Celebration, after the trial period that the Servant of God John Paul II
conceded. I am sure you will attentively observe these norms that reflect
what is provided for in the liturgical books approved by the Church.
By faithfully keeping to every Church directive, you will make your
apostolate even more effective, in tune and in full communion with the Pope
and the Pastors of every Diocese. And in so doing, the Lord will continue to
bless you with abundant pastoral fruits.
In fact, you have been able to do a great deal in these years and numerous
vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life have been born in your
Today, however, our attention is addressed particularly to families. More
than 200 of them are about to be sent out on mission; these are families who
leave without much human support but who are counting first and foremost on
the support of divine Providence.
Dear families, you can witness with your history that the Lord does not
abandon those who entrust themselves to him. Continue to spread the Gospel
of life. Wherever your mission leads you, let yourselves be illumined by the
comforting words of Jesus: "Seek first the Kingdom of God and his
righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides", and again,
"Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself.
Sufficient for a day is its own evil" (Mt 6: 33-34). In a world that seeks
human certainties and earthly reassurance, show that Christ is the firm rock
on which to construct the building of your own existence and that trust
placed in him is never in vain.
May the Holy Family of Nazareth protect you and be your model. I assure you
of my prayer for you and for all the members of the Neocatechumenal Way,
while I affectionately impart to each one the Apostolic Blessing.
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