Church’s mission starts from reality: Cardinal Hollerich

In an interview with La Civilta Cattolica, Luxembourg Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich has called for the Church to focus on its mission, starting the reality that see us all as children of the same Father.

“I believe that today in Europe we are suffering from a pathology, which, that is, we are unable to see clearly what the mission of the Church is,” Cardinal Hollerich, a former chaplain to the Luxembourg YCW, warned.

“We always talk about structures, which is certainly not a bad thing, because structures are important and certainly need to be rethought. But there is not enough talk of the mission of the Church. Which is to announce the Gospel. To announce, and above all to testify, the death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ. 

“A witness that the Christian must interpret mainly through his commitment in the world for the safeguarding of creation, for justice, for peace. 

“The teaching of Pope Francis is everything and nothing other than the clarification of the Gospel. It is not difficult to understand. In today’s secularised world, direct proclamation is not always understood, but our witness is. We are observed and valued in the world for how we live the gospel. 

“It is a bit like it happens for teachers at school: it is certainly important what they say, but even more important is what they communicate about themselves. In our case, what matters is consistency with the Gospel. 

“Take the encyclical for example it is certainly important what they say, but even more important is what they communicate about themselves. In our case, what matters is consistency with the Gospel. Take the encyclical for example it is certainly important what they say, but even more important is what they communicate about themselves. In our case, what matters is consistency with the Gospel. 

“Take the encyclical for example Laudato si ‘.  Many have read it, even among non-believers, even among those who do not know the Gospel. And all those who read it shared its value, importance, urgency. I had direct feedback from my daily contacts with the politicians of the European Parliament and Commission in Brussels. So everyone has read  Laudato Sì,  and admires it. And the same was also true for  Fratelli Tutti. 

“In other words, everyone recognizes Pope Francis as the paternity of the proposal for a new humanism. Which he often proposes in solitude among the great world leaders. But then it is up to us to be able to explain that Francis’ humanism is not just a political proposal, but a proclamation of the Gospel. Those outside the Church sometimes understand the Gospel better than those inside. 

“Pope Francis therefore indicated this way of proclaiming the Gospel, which starts from reality, that reality that sees us all as creatures and children of the same Father. But to answer your initial question: in all European countries there has been much talk at synods of communion, of participation, but very little of mission,” Cardinal Hollerich concluded.


Hollerich: la Chiesa deve cambiare, rischiamo di parlare a un uomo che non c’è più (Vatican News)


GilPe / Wikipedia / CCA BY SA 4.0

Charles de Foucauld canonised

On 15 May 2022, Pope Francis canonised French mystic, Charles de Foucauld, a former soldier who lived in the North African desert for many years devoting his life to the Indigenous Taureg peoples.

Today, Charles de Foucauld is regarded as a pioneer of interreligious dialogue, witnessing to his faith through his quiet example, without words, living it out through deep prayer and friendship and service to the people he came to know.

Pope Francis also referred to the example of Charles de Foucauld in his 2020 encyclical, Fratelli Tutti:

Yet I would like to conclude by mentioning another person of deep faith who, drawing upon his intense experience of God, made a journey of transformation towards feeling a brother to all. I am speaking of Blessed Charles de Foucauld. Blessed Charles directed his ideal of total surrender to God towards an identification with the poor, abandoned in the depths of the African desert. In that setting, he expressed his desire to feel himself a brother to every human being, and asked a friend to “pray to God that I truly be the brother of all”. He wanted to be, in the end, “the universal brother”. Yet only by identifying with the least did he come at last to be the brother of all. May God inspire that dream in each one of us. Amen. (Fratelli tutti, 286-287)

Charles de Foucauld was a major source of inspiration for many early Jocist chaplains and leaders, including French priest, René Voillaume, founder of the Little Brothers of Jesus and the Little Brothers of the Gospel.

In Belgium, the Little Sisters of Nazareth based their own charism on that of both Charles de Foucauld and Joseph Cardijn.


De Foucauld: Total surrender to God and universal fraternity (Vatican News)

Biography of Charles de Foucauld (Spiritual Family Charles de Foucauld)

René Voillaume (Wikipedia)

Little Sisters of Nazareth (The Deipara Initiative)

Fratelli Tutti webinar: What future for humanity?

The Australian Cardijn Institute and Social Policy Connections will host a Zoom webinar to discuss Pope Francis’ new encyclical, Fratelli tutti (Brothers and Sisters All) on Thursday 22 October 2020, 7.30 to 8.30pm, Australian Eastern Summer Time.

Fr Bruce Duncan will give an appraisal of the new encyclical, with Danusia Kaska responding and considering what it means for us in Australia.

Fr Bruce has taught about the history of Catholic social thought and movements at Yarra Theological Union in Melbourne for many years, and is Director of the ecumenical social advocacy network Social Policy Connections.

Since 2005, SPC has published nearly 1000 articles in its free monthly newsletters, and has arranged many public events and forums. SPC also welcomes new members who wish to contribute or take part in its activities. See the SPC website here.

He will talk about the significance of Fratelli tutti since the coronavirus has severely damaged economies everywhere, and why it is now even more urgent to build a better future. What is so different in the new encyclical to what the Pope said in Laudato Si’ in 2015?

Danusia Kaska works for Xavier Social Justice Network Coordinator at Xavier College, Melbourne, and is a member of the SPC board.

For FREE ticket registration, please email Stefan Gigacz at:

You will receive a LINK to join the webinar.

The session will be recorded and questions can be submitted in advance or during the webinar.