|Alejandro Pinelo to the right of His Excellency Victor Hugo Palma, bishop of Escuintla (Guatemala), with some of the Full Time Lay Missionaries from that country.|
Escuintla (Guatemala), June 18, 2005. Who are the Full-Time Lay
Missionaries? They are pastoral workers serving parishes and dioceses whose
priests are stretched too thin. The full-time lay missionaries dedicate
themselves to teaching the faith to people -- typically very
poor people -- who otherwise would have no way to
learn and grow in their Catholic faith.
Recently, Bishop Victor Hugo
Palma Paul of Escuintla, Guatemala, and secretary of his country´s
episcopal conference, sent a letter to Fr. Alvaro Corcuera, L.C.,
General Director of the Legionaries of Christ and the
Regnum Christi Movement.
Bishop Palma thanked Fr. Corcuera "for the
presence of the Full Time Lay Missionaries in Escuintla," where
a dozen full-time missionaries are supported fully by Legionary and
Regnum Christi fundraising efforts in order to serve "a million
and a half inhabitants with only 21 priests from nine
"I have found in the effective preparation, the human and
doctrinal solidity, and above all the spirituality of the full-time
catechists a sound means for the laity to fulfill the
mission proper to them," Bishop Palma wrote.
The lay missionaries work
under the authority of the local parish priest and bishop.
Both their initial and ongoing training are provided by the
Legion of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement. The missionaries
are sustained financially by the generosity of committed lay people.
More and more lay people are deciding to support this
form of advancing the New Evangelization as called for by
the Holy Father by donating funds to sustain one or
more lay missionaries every year.