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This month Pope Francis has asked us to also pray in particular “that within parishes, priests and lay people may collaborate in service to the community without giving in to the temptation of discouragement.”
In an address to the bishops of Switzerland in 2014, Pope Francis noted the importance of a healthy collaboration of priests and lay people, making sure the role of the laity in Church life is not forgotten.
“The mission of the laity in the Church is, indeed, of considerable importance, for the laity contributes to the life of the parishes and Christian communities, both in the professional field and as volunteers. It is important to acknowledge and support their commitment, while maintaining the clear distinction between the common priesthood of the faithful and the ministerial priesthood. On this point, I encourage you to continue the formation of the baptized…In this way you will enable lay people to truly integrate themselves into the Church, to take the place that awaits them there and to render fruitful the baptismal grace received, in order to journey together towards holiness for the good of all.”
Pope Francis challenges the Church this month to not neglect the activity of lay people, but to encourage it and seek their input, especially when serving the community. That collaboration, however, must be done in charity and in mutual knowledge that God works through both priests and laity in different ways.
Let us pray this month for a healthy collaboration of priests and laity that benefits both the local and global community.
- Philip Kosloski
Writer and Content Manager
The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (USA)