Rome, Italy (January 22, 2013) --
The Year of Faith, instituted by Pope Benedict XVI in
order to reinforce and deepen the Catholic faith – and
then transmit it to the world with greater ardor and
conviction – is an event of extraordinary importance. Many different
events are planned; among them is the Pentecost vigil on
May 18, 2013, dedicated to movements old and new. It will include a pilgrimage to the apostle Peter´s
tomb, and there will be time for prayer in St
Peter´s Square to ask God to pour out his Spirit
once again, and make present the marvels of the early
In Rome, the Pontifical
Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum will open its doors to
the movements with great enthusiasm. For a better
idea of how to become a part of this moment
of grace, we asked for an interview with Fr Pedro
Barrajón LC, Regina Apostolorum´s rector.
What is the Holy Father´s motive in gathering
all the movements on the vigil of Pentecost?
Both Pope John Paul II and Benedict
XVI invited the ecclesial movements and new communities to Rome
on the feast of Pentecost to encourage them to continue
their evangelizing mission under the guidance of the Church. In
these gatherings, both the founders of the movements and their
directors presented to the Holy Father the richness of their
different charisms and renewed their desire to carry out their
specific mission within the Church, under the guidance of the
Holy Father. I was able to attend both events, and
they greatly enriched my own faith. The Holy Father has
again gathered the movements in the Year of Faith because
they have a very important role in spreading the faith
in a secularized world. He wants to confirm
them in their faith, to be present in their lives,
to launch them towards new apostolic goals, to reinforce their
communion with their pastors. After the event with the Vicar
of Christ, people will return to their everyday lives inspired
to continue spreading the Gospel and be leaven of Christ´s
presence in the world.
|Father Pedro Barrajón LC|
the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum decide to organize an international
We believe that the
new movements and ecclesial communities have a decisive role in
the formation and spread of the faith. The Holy Father
asked the major ecclesiastical institutions to help in the year
of faith by organizing different events that help go deeper
in the various aspects of the Catholic faith. We think
that it will be a useful contribution to the Church
to try to delineate with more precision the specific contribution
of the movements in two areas: first, in the formation
of the faith in others, and second, in spreading the
faith. The formation of the faith is very important because
today more than ever we need a solid faith, deeply
rooted in the Word of God, the tradition of the
Church, the Magisterium, given the great doctrinal confusion that perplexes
many faithful Christians. We need well-formed lay people
who are able to intelligently face the great challenges that
today´s secularized world presents to believers. And it´s necessary to
give the faith to others. Faith increases when it´s given,
as John Paul II said. The members of the movements
are characterized by a great desire to communicate the Gospel
to those around them, and to the entire world. We
would like to underline these two important aspects in which
the movements serve the Church.
What is the format of the congress?
The congress is comprised of two main parts.
The first is dedicated to analyzing the nature and the
mission of the new movements and ecclesial communities, and their
role in today´s Church: their charismatic action, their contribution in
spreading and forming the faith, their canonical and ecclesial status.
In the second part we will concentrate on studying the
Regnum Christi Movement with which the Athenaeum has a special
relationship given that it´s closely linked to the congregation of
the Legionaries of Christ. This second part will be similar
to an international encounter of the members of this movement;
it will include the movement´s directors and members, and will
present a vast array of Regnum Christi apostolates which are
particularly related to faith formation and evangelization: in youth work,
family, media and social communication, the role of women in
today´s world, schools, universities, foreign missions, etc.
Which movements will participate?
We have invited some of the movements with particular
historical or numerical influence, such as Communion and Liberation, Focolare,
Renewal in the Spirit, the Neocatechumenal Way, and so on,
and also other new communities such as the Community of
St John, The Emmanuel Community, the Community of the Beatitudes
etc. We could not invite all of them to speak,
since, thanks be to God, there are many of them. But all are invited to participate in the
different sessions of the congress in order to enter into
communion with the members of other ecclesial movements.
Do you hope to draw people from
It´s not easy
to say for sure, but I think that we will
have a good number of people from Latin America, North
America, and Europe, above all. We will have a smaller
group from Asia and Africa. One of the beautiful aspects
of these gatherings is their catholicity; in the universality of
the Church you see how there are no frontiers for
the action of the Holy Spirit, and how we have
all drawn from the same spirit of Christ.
Why is it important for young people
and families to participate in this event?
The congress is open to everyone, above all
to our own students in the Athenaeum, but also to
members of the movements and ecclesial communities. Young people and
families have a special place within this panorama. Young people
because they are the hope of the Church, who with
their enthusiasm become heralds of Christ among their peers and
so forge the values of a more Christian future. Families because they remind us that the Gospel is
first lived in the home, wherein each person has a
role in building the domestic Church in which they live
out the gift of themselves and the spirit of gratitude.
Where can someone find more
information about this event?
information can be found on the Athenaeum´s website: www.uprait.org.
In addition, you can call the secretary of the congress
at 06.66543897 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.