Visit to the parish of Saint Lucy in Plaza d’Armi January 18, 1987
St. John Paul II
Rome, January 18, 1987
In an area like that of the Parish of Saint Lucy, inhabited mainly by upper middle class people, one of the most urgent problems is to evangelize or reevangelize so many who are far away and to revitalize a faith that is often only formal or superficial. To provide for these requirements, the Neocatechumenal Way has been open in the parish for a few years. A first community emerged and this year, a new community has been born. The Pope met the Neocatechumenal Community in another room. A young man explained to him the path he had taken, he said that it was a small seed that must grow but who now wants to be a point of reference for those far away so that they can return to the Father’s house. The Pope addressed the representatives of the Neocatechumenal Communities in this way:
“Here is what I want to tell you. I would like to tell you that all of us lacked and always lack a true catechumenate, a true catechumenate as the Christians of the first generations, a catechumenate like yours, a neocatechumenate. Because it is not enough to be already baptized, we need to be catechumens again. And after being baptized you can start a way. This way begins quickly by entering this neocatechumenate. With this Neocatechumenal preparation one becomes itinerant, because Jesus made his closest disciples, apostles, which means ‘those sent’, that is, itinerant. I also try to imitate your example, but my itinerancy is much less harsh. So I think.
I wish you to walk well in this way chosen for you and also in this itinerancy wherever you are; if you are here in this one, very well; as if you go to other parishes of Rome, to other cities, to other communities in Italy or out of Italy, to the whole world.
I wish you to carry with you a testimony of a mature faith. It is by which you always invoke the Virgin: ‘you have believed in the Word of the Lord’. Your faith is truly the height of what it means to believe, ‘You have believed’. But how did Mary believe?
This is a great thing, this word is not enough. With this mature faith in imitation of Mary who believed in the word of the Lord, you try to go in search of the contemporary world, our brothers and sisters of this world and of this difficult time far from faith. Because only from a mature faith, from a fervent faith, you can turn on the light in others, especially in those who are far away.
So, I warmly bless you all, your families, your children and your Way.”