AMERICA/BRAZIL - Lay people active at the service of life and justice: national week of the laity

Thursday, 19 November 2020 local churches   laity  

Brasilia (Agenzia Fides) - "This celebration is a reason for joy and also a way to question ourselves. What do our times ask of us? What can we lay people do from this celebration of Lay Christian Day?". This is the question posed by the President of the National Council of the Laity of Brazil (CNLB), Sonia Gomes de Oliveira, in view of the celebration of the National Day of Lay Christians 2020, which will culminate on November 22, on the solemnity of Christ the King.
According to the note sent to Fides, throughout the week from 16 to 27 November, the CNLB in collaboration with the Commission for the Laity of the Brazilian Bishops' Conference (CNBB), has planned various initiatives aimed at reflecting on the presence and mission of the laity in the Church of Brazil. The theme for National Day 2020 is "Testimony and prophecy at the service of life".
In the light of the biblical verse that characterizes the day, "I, the Lord, have called you to the service of justice", taken from the prophet Isaiah (42,6), the president of the CNLB asks the Brazilian laity a question: "We lay Christians, how do we place ourselves at the service of life and justice? In the context of guarantees of rights and popular participation, in the squares where people are homeless, together with young blacks who die, together with women victims of violence and within the Church itself? "
The Bishop of Tocantinopolis and president of the Episcopal Commission for the pastoral care of the laity, Mgr. Giovane Pereira de Melo, emphasizes that there is strong participation of the laity in the life of the Church in Brazil: "Our laity is an active laity, which seeks to organize itself and is present in the various ecclesial spaces, in leadership, in ecclesial communities, in associations and movements and in other ecclesial organizations". "There is a great challenge for lay Christians, for the baptized, to become aware of their baptism, their faith, their mission and vocation, to be a transforming presence as ecclesial subjects not only in the Church, but in the realities of world".
"In the document n. 105 of the CNBB, the Bishops of Brazil underline the importance and the need for a laity who is protagonist. It is necessary that the Church, especially us ordained ministers,to recognize the importance, the role and the protagonism of the laity in the Church in Brazil", concludes Mgr. Pereira de Melo. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 19/11/2020)