Parishes Should Serve People and Communities Equally
►MANILA, Aug. 1, 2017 (Ucanews) — Catholic parishes should continue to serve people and communities equally without being “parochial.”
This was the call made by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila at the end of the three-day Philippine Conference on New Evangelization on July 30.
The Manila prelate said the church should continue to support and serve people by making room for others and “entering the wounds of others.”
“How I wish our parishes would enter the doors of the wounds of people so that no parish would become parochial,” he said.
“The word parochial means narrow,” said Cardinal Tagle before some 6,000 participants at the annual gathering in Manila.
Now in its fourth year, the conference discussed issues of social justice, the environment, youth, social media, family, among others.
Cardinal Tagle said that in a world “enveloped by fear” the annual gathering is an invitation to Catholics to make room for those “who want to take the first step towards journeying.”
“By making room for others we become agents of God’s hand, guiding those who have lost direction so that they could find their way,” said the cardinal.
He said “touching the wounds of others” is the “way of communion” that will help people recover a sense of common humanity.
“I hope that every parish really becomes a communion where we open doors, where we surpass our fears, and we see a brother or a sister whose wounds are my wounds too,” said Cardinal Tagle.
In his homily at Mass for the closing of the conference, Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, stressed the church’s mission and the role of people in evangelization. “We recognize that we are all involved in a true movement, a movement that unites us to Christ.”
The annual meeting is an initiative of the Archdiocese of Manila to find and introduce new methods to evangelize cultures and societies “fruitfully.”
Father Jason Laguerta, conference director, said the event is a continuing effort of exploring new expressions and narratives in sharing the Gospel “in a language that touches and transforms hearts and souls.”
“New evangelization is fundamentally about the encounter with Jesus and without this there can be no other communion,” said the priest, adding that, “communion without mission is unhealthy.” ◘