‘To Govern is to Serve’

‘The Responsibility of Governance in Lay Aggregations. An Ecclesial Service’ Proceedings to be Published

To Govern is to Serve

“To govern is to serve” – this is how Pope Francis addressed the moderators and delegates of the ecclesial movements, associations of the faithful, and new communities that participated in the Meeting “The Responsibility of Governance in Lay Aggregations. An ecclesial service”, that was held on September 16, 2021, at the New Synod Hall in the Vatican.

The meeting was an opportunity for the Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life to present the General Decree entitled “International Associations of the Faithful” promulgated on June 11, 2021, with approval in forma specifica by the Holy Father, in light of the ongoing accompaniment that the Holy See provides through its concern and closeness to all international lay aggregations, over many years.

On Thursday, March 3, 2022, at 4:00 p.m., in the Marconi Hall of the Vatican Radio (Piazza Pia, 3 – Vatican City), the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life and the Libreria Editrice Vaticana (LEV) will present the volume that is a complete collection of the Proceedings of said Meeting together with the texts of the Decree, the Explanatory Note and the commentary by Ulrich Rhode, SI, which appeared in L’Osservatore Romano. The book is in Italian, but the French, English, and Spanish versions will be published soon.

The Speakers are the Prefect of the Dicastery, Card. Kevin Farrell, the Under- Secretary, Dr. Linda Ghisoni, Dr. Margaret Karram, President of the  Focolare Movement. Dr. Lorenzo Fazzini, Editorial Director of LEV, will moderate the meeting. The event can be followed in live streaming on the Vatican News Youtube Channel.

In his September presentation, Pope Francis thanked those present: “Thank you for your presence as laymen, men and women, young people and elderly, committed to live and witness the Gospel in the ordinary reality of life, in your work, in so many different contexts: this is the vast field of your apostolate, it’s your evangelization.”

Francis went on to stress that the groups represented at the gathering are legitimate: “you have a true and proper ecclesial mission. You seek, with dedication, to live and make fruitful those charisms that the Holy Spirit, through the Founders, has assigned to all the members of your aggregate realities, for the benefit of the Church and the many men and women to whom you are dedicated in the apostolate. I’m thinking, especially, of those that, finding themselves in the existential peripheries of our societies, experience in their flesh abandonment and loneliness and suffer due to the many material needs and moral and spiritual poverty.”