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Pope: parish must be ‘privileged place’ of listening, proclamation

Pope: parish must be ‘privileged place’ of listening, proclamation

(Vatican Radio) Faithful from the Diocese of Isernia-Venafro paid a return visit to Pope Francis on Saturday.

The Pope received the pilgrims in an audience and recalled the message of solidarity he shared with them during his pastoral visit last July.

He also spoke of the call of parishes to be missionary communities.

Listen to the report by Laura Ieraci:

“Every parish is called to be a privileged place of listening and of the proclamation of the Gospel; a house of prayer gathered around the Eucharist; a true school of communion, where the ardour of charity prevails over the temptation of a superficial and dry religiosity,” said Pope Francis to pilgrims from the southern Italian Diocese of Isernia-Venafro.

The Pope said he hopes the current Jubilee of the Diocese of Isernia-Venafro and the upcoming Extraordinary Year of Mercy will renew a “vigorous missionary spirit,” especially in parishes, where the communion of the church finds its “most immediate and visible expression.”

Speaking to the pilgrims, the Pope said their local Jubilee is an opportunity to “return to the Gospel,” to reconcile with one’s neighbour and to renew the desire to bring love to the marginalized and to those who suffer.

He noted the many social problems that continue to afflict the southern Italian region, namely sharp unemployment among youth; the lack of adequate social services for families, the elderly, or people with illness or disability.

The Pope said this “worrying situation” requires a “general mobilisation” at all levels of society, both public and private, adding that “concrete steps” in creating employment cannot be postponed.

“Christian hope, founded on the resurrected Christ, and accompanied by a large charitable effort towards those most in need” is what is most called for “when difficulties seem to obfuscate… a better future,” he said.

“Problems are overcome with solidarity,” the pope said, directing his message specifically to young people and to those present, and noting that he issued the same message during his pastoral visit last year.

He concluded, urging the pilgrims to be “witnesses of solidarity” in their cities, families, and places of work.  

(from Vatican Radio)