6. The pastoral relationship with the laity in the Vincentian family.
It’s time for the laity to set their clocks to the correct time.
The idea may seem new, but it is part of our Vincentian cultural heritage and also of the Church in general, at least since Vatican II. How far are we still, however, from carrying it out!
There is still a widespread perception among many committed laity, and among some of us in consecrated life also, that when we need lay people, we continue to use them as handymen, baggage handlers or laborers who do the physical work. We are far from counting on them as true agents of pastoral action and of building the Kingdom of God. Their membership in the Church requires that they be so, on equal terms, with all of us respecting our respective charisms and functions within the Church.
I think it’s our mission to prepare them for the new evangelization, to assist and accompany them spiritually, to count on them, to make them our associates in the new tasks of building the Kingdom …
Our pastoral concern for the Vincentian Family and our commitment to it should be better, quantitatively and qualitatively. It should be the feeling of the Priests of the Mission that accompanying and helping pastorally the different branches of the Vincentian Family is a top pastoral option. We should be present at their meetings and assemblies, and respond solicitously when they need our services. Our communities should encourage the creation of new Vincentian groups. Given the situation of the Church nowadays, the need to count on the laity for popular as well as “Ad gentes” missions is becoming more urgent every day.
It’s a real privilege to count on lay Vincentians to create these new platforms of evangelization in parishes, in the renewed popular mission, and in developing countries.