LG31 Forum on Formation for the Lay Apostolate

Following the success of our first LG31 Forum and of the Second Assembly of the Plenary Council, we will hold our second forum on Thursday 28 July 2022 at 7.00pm AEST.

Plenary Decree 6 on “Formation and Leadership for Mission and Ministry” makes formation for the apostolate of the laity a priority for the Australian Church.

“Responding to the call for a renewal of formation,” §7 of the introduction to Decree 6 reads, “the Plenary Council endorses principles and strategies that develop models of formation to encourage and strengthen the apostolate of the laity in the world. “

It continues with a strong endorsement of the see-judge-act method for this formation:

This apostolate offers a particular prophetic sign by seeking the common good and by concrete actions that protect and promote human dignity, peace and justice. Attentive to the ‘signs of the times’, movements of the lay apostolate, in their various forms, offer the baptised a way to reflect on the concrete experiences of their lives in the light of the Gospel and engage as missionary disciples in the world.

As a means for formation, the apostolate of the laity is grounded in scriptural reflection, reception of the ecclesial wisdom of our tradition, and prayerful communal discernment. This formation shapes Christian engagement with the broader Australian community through listening and dialogue, and supports actions for the transformation of society through daily commitment and public witness.

“Therefore, to meet the formation needs of the present and future,” §9 adds, “the Plenary Council commits the Church in Australia to developing and committing to a culture of life-long faith

In our next LG31 forum we will discuss how to implement these decrees, looking particularly at what ACI can offer.

Please join us for this important event.

REGISTER FOR THE NEXT LG31 FORUM ON FORMATION FOR THE LAY APOSTOLATE

Date: Thursday 28 July 2022

Time: 7pm AEST

Registration: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwpdequrTssE9bwDut7c1Woqx0peD4mAO-t

SOURCES

Formation and Leadership for Mission and Ministry (Australian Plenary Council)

2022: Australian Plenary Council: Formation (Australian Cardijn Institute)

Leadership for Mission (Australian Cardijn Institute)

Forum: Lumen Gentium 31 and the lay apostolate

The Australian Plenary Council has published its Framework for Motions to be discussed at its Second Assembly which will meet in Sydney from 4-9 July 2022.

Once again, ACI’s concern was the lack of emphasis on the lay vocation or apostolate of lay people. See also Fr Bruce Duncan’s critique of the Framework, which expresses similar concerns.

Meanwhile, Cardinal-elect Robert McElroy has highlighted the potential of the see-judge-act method for the development of a truly synodal Church.

Our latest submission therefore proposes amendments to §79-80, which fall under “Part 6. Formation and Leadership for Mission and Ministry.” 

In particular, the ACI submission called for the insertion of a paragraph highlighting that formation needs to focus on promoting the “specifically lay apostolate of lay people acting as a leaven within the world.”

This is based on §31 of the Vatican II document, Lumen Gentium (LG31), which states:

What specifically characterizes the laity is their secular nature. It is true that those in holy orders can at times be engaged in secular activities, and even have a secular profession. But they are by reason of their particular vocation especially and professedly ordained to the sacred ministry. Similarly, by their state in life, religious give splendid and striking testimony that the world cannot be transformed and offered to God without the spirit of the beatitudes. But the laity, by their very vocation, seek the kingdom of God by engaging in temporal affairs and by ordering them according to the plan of God. They live in the world, that is, in each and in all of the secular professions and occupations. They live in the ordinary circumstances of family and social life, from which the very web of their existence is woven. They are called there by God that by exercising their proper function and led by the spirit of the Gospel they may work for the sanctification of the world from within as a leaven. In this way they may make Christ known to others, especially by the testimony of a life resplendent in faith, hope and charity. Therefore, since they are tightly bound up in all types of temporal affairs it is their special task to order and to throw light upon these affairs in such a way that they may come into being and then continually increase according to Christ to the praise of the Creator and the Redeemer.

Our second proposed amendment is to §80 and reads as follows:

To achieve this, the Church in Australia and in each diocese commits to develop and accompany lay apostolate formation movements, including classical movements such as the YCW and YCS as well as new initiatives responding to 21st century social realities and needs. Following the see-judge-act method of formation based on small review of life groups meeting regularly, these movements enable Christians to reflect on the concrete experiences of their lives as workers, family members and citizens in the light of the Gospel and to take personal and collective action to transform their lives and communities working for the sanctification of the world from within as a leaven (Lumen Gentium §31). Priests, religious and lay ministers will play a vital special role in accompaniment in promoting this formation.

Lumen Gentium 31 Forum

Our 2021 Submission to the Plenary also called for the establishment of an Australian Catholic Council for the Lay Apostolate to promote the Vatican II vision of lay apostolate.

To date, we have no indication that this proposal will be adopted by the Plenary.

ACI will therefore hold an open forum to discuss further action to implement this proposal.

We invite all members and friends of ACI to join us for this event.

Please also see the link below for a compilation of resources on Catholic Social Teaching concerning the lay apostolate.

DETAILS

ACI Open Forum Lumen Gentium 31 and the Lay Apostolate

Saturday 2 July, 2.00pm AEST

REGISTRATION LINK

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEkfuGvqDgrH9wxxFJxAZc9NFXN8aeAeyIY

PHOTO

Lawrence OP / Flickr / CC BY ND NC 2.0

READ MORE

Fr Bruce Duncan CsSR, Plenary Council fails to embrace Pope Francis’s wider social vision (Eureka Street)

Cardinal-elect Robert McElroy, Pope Francis and Vatican II give us a road map for the synodal process (America Magazine)

A Chicago Declaration of Christian Concern 1977 (Australian Cardijn Institute)

ACI Submission to the Plenary 2019 on Lay Apostolate

ACI Submission to the Plenary 2021 on an Australian Catholic Council for the Lay Apostolate

ACI Proposed Amendments to the Plenary Framework for Motions 2022

Resources on Lay Apostolate (Australian Cardijn Institute)