Private audience for itinerants and families in mission December 28, 1986
St. John Paul II
Castel Gandolfo, December 28, 1986
This morning, a group of some 400 itinerant catechists from the Neocatechumenal Communities have attended the Holy Father’s Mass in Castel Gandolfo. The Pope has given them the missionary crosses at the end of the Mass. To these catechists, who are participating in a convivence of reflection on the Evangelization in Europe (Porto San Giorgio: December 22 – January 6), the Pope addressed some words at the end of the mass and gave them the missionary cross. Presentation of Kiko:
“Dearest Holy Father, here present are the itinerant teams responsible for 72 nations that have come from all over the world for a 20-day convivence to reflect and above all to live together in communion.
Twelve families are also present, who will leave after this convivence for northern Europe to evangelize, called by the bishops of Hanover, of Stockholm, of Denmark and various places. They leave with all their children; there are here 70 priests, 48 families with 203 children (an average of 5 children per family), 64 young men, 28 young women and also 16 seminarians who accompany them. Present are a few of those who carry forward the evangelization throughout the world through the Neocatechumenal Way.”
We thank you for this meeting which seals the 20 years since the birth of the Neocatechumenal Way and the evangelization throughout the world. We are very grateful to the Family of Nazareth and the Virgin Mary for this meeting.”
At the end of the celebration, the Pope addressed those present with these words:
“My dearly beloved, we have celebrated the Most Holy Eucharist, we have celebrated this most holy Eucharist contemplating the path of the Holy Family of Nazareth, of Joseph, of Mary and of Jesus; of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. The Church tells us that this Holy Family is a model for all Christian families, for all the families of the world. Mary and Joseph concentrated in the mystery of the incarnate Son, they show us the way of faith that must constitute and form the life of every Christian family. A profound faith is needed to walk as a family in today’s world, courageous faith is needed to act in the world of today the plan of today, this plan of God of the family, this plan of God of love of life that is proper to every family, which is their vocation. A great faith is needed to walk as a family in the footsteps of the Holy Family; and in this way make others walk, the other families.
I, dear brothers and sisters, together with my brothers, bishops and priests, wish you this way in faith as families, and I hope that this journey in faith is an example for other families in today’s world, as for us and for you is the example of the Holy Family of Nazareth: Jesus, Mary and Joseph. I give you my blessing.”