Vatican City - (Agenzia Fides) - "It is truly a great joy for me to celebrate this Eucharist Liturgy with you on the beautiful island nation of Saint Lucia. Today we not only celebrate the first day of Advent, but also the beginning of the Year of Evangelization for the Archdiocese of Castries, an initiative intended to renew the Church of Saint Lucia by re-igniting enthusiasm for the proclamation of the Gospel". This is what Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, said at the beginning of his homily, during the solemn Mass presided over yesterday afternoon, December 2, in the Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Castries, opening officially the Year of Evangelization.
Outlining the context of the liturgical celebration, the Cardinal pointed out that "the mission to proclaim the Gospel to the nations, inviting everyone to God’s banquet, has been entrusted by the Lord to the Church, which he founded as a universal communion, with Peter as the head of the Apostolic College, and the first to announce the Resurrection after Pentecost", and then he continued: "As Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, I would like to assure of your importance in the Church’s universal task of proclaiming the Gospel".
After recalling what was said by Pope Francis on the occasion of World Mission Day, the Prefect of the Congregation urged: "Today, the Church in Saint Lucia begins the Year of Evangelization, an initiative meant to deepen the faith of those who already know Christ; to re-ignite enthusiasm for sharing this faith with those who do not yet know the Lord and with those who have wandered away from the Church. Let us take to heart the Holy Father's invitation to go out to the peripheries, to bear witness to our Faith in Christ and our love for his Church, inviting others to share in this precious gift".
Cardinal Filoni concluded his homily with these words: "I would like to assure all of you that the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples knows well the efforts you make in being faithful to the Lord and in bearing fruitful witnesses of Christ", and then thanked Bishops, priests, religious and lay ecclesial movements for their commitment and their witness in favor of the Church and of society. (SL) (Agenzia Fides 03/12/2013)