Role of the Laity in the Church

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Role of the Laity in the Church

Red BallInstruction on the Role of Laity
Joint Curial Document
On certain questions regarding the collaboration of the non-ordained faithful in the sacred ministry of priest
August 15,1997

Red BallHow People integrate Faith and Work
St. Antoninus Institute
A report on a study done in 1991 on Personal Needs and Congregational Responses, by the Center for Ethics and Corporate Policy in Chicago. The results show that the laity is very interested in answers on how to integrate Faith and Work. The implications of the study are quite rich and may be of great help in any serious program of evangelization.

Red BallThe Rights of the Laity
Charles M. Wilson
This is the Masters Thesis written by the St. Joseph Foundation's founder and president, Charles M. Wilson–a full treatment of the rights of the laity under the 1983 Code of Canon Law.

Red BallPriests Within Associations of the Faithful
Pontifical Council for the Laity
December 3, 1981

Red BallThe Dignity of Older People
Pontifical Council for the Laity
"The Dignity of Older People and their Mission in the Church and in the World"
October 1 1998.

Red BallParticipation
Jean Danielou
As the writer observes, Vatican II called on the laity to take a more active part in the liturgy, as in other functions of the body of Christ. Their customary passivity was not consistent with their dignity, nor with their responsibility to participate in the Church's mission.

Red BallParticipatio Actuosa (Active Participation)
Fr. Robert Skeris
Participatio Actuosa in Theological and Musical Perspective: Documentary Considerations, by Fr. Robert A. Skeris, reprinted from Divini Cultus Studium (by Fr. Robert Skeris, 1990). A theological and historical study of active participation of the laity in the Mass, especially with respect to Sacred Music. Sacred Music, Vol. 117, No. 4, Winter 1990.

Red BallChristifideles Laici
Pope John Paul II
This Exhortation intends to stir and promote a deeper awareness among all the faithful of the gift and responsibility they share, both as a group and as individuals, in the communion and mission of the Church
December 30, 1988

Red BallAddress to the Participants of the Symposium...
Pope John Paul II
the Symposium on the Participation of the Laity
April 22, 1994

Red BallThe Promotion of the Spiritual Exercises
Pope Pius XI
Speaking of the practice of the 'Spiritual Exercises' the Holy Father says, 'we earnestly desire to see it daily extended more widely, not only among the clergy both secular and regular, but also among the multitudes of the Catholic laity.'
December 20, 1929

Red BallMessage for the World Congress of Ecclesial Movements and New Communities
Pope John Paul II
The Holy Father addressed this written Message to the World Congress of Ecclesial Movements and New Communities organized by the Pontifical Council for the Laity and held in Rome from 27 to 29 May 1998.

Red BallHomily for the Second Sunday, Ordinary Time,
Year B, January 19, 1997

Fr. Peter R. Pilsner
An excellent homity on what it means to be called by God. When we think about God "calling" someone–a vocation–we often connect it with the call to the priesthood and the religious life. But God also calls the members of the laity in the Church to serve him.

Red BallGrow in Love of Christ and His Church
as St. Paul Tells Us

Pope John Paul II
In his Message to those taking part in the Convention in Speyer, Germany, a follow-up to the meeting organized by the Pontifical Council for the Laity in St Peter's Square on the eve of Pentecost last year, the Holy Father urged them to be committed to a common witness. He rejoiced to see how new movements and communities "feel the need to come together in ecclesial communion...to share the gifts they have received, support one another in difficulty and cooperate to face the challenges of the new evangelization together."

Red BallHomily at Giants Stadium
Pope John Paul II
The Holy Father points out the Church's responsibility for proclaiming God's Kingdom and calls upon the Catholic laity to take their part in the new evangelization, bearing witness to their faith in their daily lives. He encourages Americans to be faithful to their best tradition as an hospitable and generous society. Christians in particular are called to defend those whose right to life is threatened or denied.
October 5, 1995

Red BallDeacon Has Many Pastoral Functions
Pope John Paul II
General Audience
the Holy Father continued his discussion of the diaconate, focusing this week on the deacon's role as a liturgical minister and as one who promotes the apostolate of the laity
13 October 13, 1993

Red BallCo-Operation of Priests and Laity
is Essential to Fostering Parish Life

Pope John Paul II
"A parish's vocation can be defined only according to the Church's sacramental structure. It is here that Christ's presence in the paschal mystery is visibly signified.... No effort should be spared to make available the principal gifts, which are the sacraments, at every stage of our life", the Holy Father said to the third group of French Bishops to make their ad limina visit to Rome, when he received them on January 25, 1997.

Red BallThe Apostolic Duty of the Church
Pope Paul VI
In an address to the Pontifical Missionary Societies, Pope Paul affirmed that their task was not only administrative, providing means to the various missionary zones, but also educational, in making all Christians aware of their part in the evangelization of the world.

Red BallThe Worldwide Apostolate of the Church
Pope Paul VI
In his address during the General Audience (22 May 1968), Pope Paul gave illuminating direction on the Apostolate of the Laity both within the Church and in the world at large.

Red BallA Church Ever Young and New
Pope Paul VI
General audience (9/11/68), praised the spiritual energy of many "sons of the Church" following the Council, but warned against "anti-institutional" tendencies and deviations from norms of the Faith.

Red BallHeart to Heart: Newman on the Laity
George Rutler
'No Catholic figure since St. Thomas Aquinas has matched the creative mind of John Henry Newman. But if he is respected for that today, he is revered for his mind's identity with his heart, and a heart so great that his heroic virtues have been recognized. He is, as of 1991, the venerable John Henry Newman, and we may rightly ask his heavenly intercession in evidence of his motto which he took from a phrase of St. Francis de Sales, 'Cor ad cor loquitur'–'Heart Speaks to Heart.' This article was taken from the July, 1995 issue of "Crisis".

Red BallEvangelization and Faith
Gino Concetti
Evangelization is the work of the whole Church. Bishops, aided by priests, have the primary responsibility, but the laity have their part to play also, especially the Christian family.

Updated: November 14, 2000