Asuncion (Agenzia Fides) - Within the framework of a formation event entitled "We are on our way", the aim is to encourage lay people who want to be actively involved in the life and mission of the local Churches and communities. The online service was launched by the Episcopal Commission for Laity in preparation for the Parish Congresses organized as part of the current Year of Laity.
On last year's Christ the King Sunday, November 21, 2021, which is also celebrated in Paraguay as Laity Day, the bishops officially opened the Year of the Laity 2022, intended to serve as a reflection on the mission of the laity.
Describing the celebration of the Ecclesiastical Assembly of Latin America and the Caribbean, the Synod on the Synodality of the Universal Church and the Year for the Laity as "kairos", a time of grace, the bishops emphasized: "As the Church that opens to the world , let us see these events of ecclesial life as providential opportunities to meet, to listen to one another, to discern together and to welcome together the voice of the Lord, who always shows us the way, the truth and the life". "In the great challenges of the present and the future, in the Church and in the world, let us seek the hand of God", the bishops said on the synodal processes, "so that he blesses our way and let us ask that the Church of witnesses, of true martyrs, in every environment, like so many who have written our history, from the apostolic proclamation to today, and whose names are living reminders of the Gospel" (see Fides, 19 and 23/11/2021).
During the pre-conferences (September 20th to October 18th) the following topics will be discussed: "The identity of the laity"; "Laity, their vocation and their mission"; "Time of Creation - Climate Crisis - Drought"; "The Leading Role of the Laity in Seeking and Promoting the Common Good"; "Mission of Christian Communities".
"Dear brothers and sisters in the laity, together with Pope Francis, we invite you not to be indifferent to public affairs, not to close yourselves up in the Churches and not to wait for ecclesial directives to fight for justice, for more humane forms of life for all", said the bishops at the beginning of the Year of the Laity.
"As Catholics, you are to be missionary disciples of the Lord. Go and proclaim the Good News to our people; transform your families, your workplaces; participate in public life, in neighborhood organizations, in your political party, in cooperatives...be leaven; illuminate with the witness of your life the shadows of sin that threaten the dignity of the smallest, the poor, the weak in our society".
According to the Church's Statistical Yearbook, Paraguay's population is 7,253,000, of whom 6,861,000 are Catholics. There are 15 ecclesiastical districts, 422 parishes, 21 bishops, 410 diocesan and 480 religious priests, 384 religious non-priests and 1,073 nuns, 10,713 lay missionaries and 48,020 catechists. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 30/9/2022)