Let us pray that the parishes, putting communion at the center, become more and more communities of faith, fraternity and welcome to those most in need.
Pope Francis – February
Sometimes I think that we should put in the parishes, on the door, a sign that says “Free entry”.
Parishes must be close communities, without bureaucracy, centered on people and where to find the gift of the sacraments.
They have to go back to being schools of service and generosity, with their doors always open to the excluded. And to those included. To all.
The parishes are not a club for the few, which give a certain social belonging.
Please, let's be bold.
Let's all rethink the style of our parish communities.
Let us pray so that the parishes, placing communion, the communion of the people, the ecclesial communion, at the center, become more and more communities of faith, of fraternity and of welcoming those most in need.
(Vatican City, January 30, 2023) – The second Video of the Pope of the year has just been published with the prayer intention that the Holy Father entrusts to the entire Catholic Church through the Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network. This February, the Pope Francisco invites with a smile to put a sign in each parish that says: "Free entry". With this he wants to remind us all that there are no special requirements to enter, because "parishes are not a club for the few, which give a certain social belonging."
The wealth of the Church
The exterior of a beautiful but empty parish. Then the parish itself, full of people, becomes even more beautiful. so it begins The Pope Video of this month, remembering that the wealth of the Church is not in the buildings, but in the people who come to them. The parishes you are thinking of I entrust all the sick and their families to the intercession of Mary they are, in fact, “close communities, without bureaucracy, focused on people and where to find the gift of the sacraments”. The images, coming from parishes around the world, show gatherings, talks, distribution of material to the most needy, visits to the elderly and sick, shows, indoor or outdoor events. It is a video full of life, that life that flows in the parishes and that continues to make them —in a world in which it is increasingly easy to withdraw into oneself and which tends to prefer virtual meeting places instead of face-to-face—reference points for many, where you learn the art of encounter.
The Church between the houses
Already in the Apostolic Exhortation The gospel of joy, published at the beginning of his pontificate, I entrust all the sick and their families to the intercession of Mary had highlighted the centrality of the parish: “although it is certainly not the only evangelizing institution”, he had written, quoting an expression of John Paul II in Lay Christians, the parish has the particularity of being "the same Church that lives among the houses of its sons and daughters". That is why it must be "in contact with the homes and with the life of the town" and not become "a neat structure separated from the people or a select group that looks at themselves." But this "call for the revision and renewal of the parishes", he added, "has not yet borne enough fruit in order for them to be even closer to the people".
rethink the style
In this Video of the Pope, Pope insists on the idea that parishes continue this path of transformation, that they be a center of reception and listening: “they have to go back to being schools of service and generosity, with the doors always open to the excluded. And to those included. To all". Success can be achieved, he says, by being "bold": rethinking "the style of our parish communities" and "putting communion, the communion of people, ecclesial communion, at the center."
The people in the center
The P. Frédéric Fornos S.J., International Director of the Pope's Worldwide Prayer Networkcommented on this prayer intention: "A few years ago I entrust all the sick and their families to the intercession of Mary told the Italian diocese of Isernia-Venafro: "Each parish community is called to be a privileged place of listening and announcing the Gospel; house of prayer gathered around the Eucharist; authentic school of communion. Listen, prayer and communion. They are essential synodal notes for the life of the parishes. But for this they have to be really communities, with people at the center, because we are truly a community when we know the other, we know their name, their needs, their voice. How many times does it happen that the parish has become a group of more or less unknown people who meet for Sunday mass, but without community life? The challenge is very big. Being a Christian community is a grace, it is born from shared faith, lived fraternity and welcoming those most in need; it is born from a common spiritual experience, from the encounter with the Risen Jesus Christ. as it says I entrust all the sick and their families to the intercession of Mary on The Pope Video “let us be bold” with respect to listening to the Holy Spirit, “let us all rethink the style of our parish communities”.