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The Cardinal presents project with which Church want to engrave on people consciences
about appointment with Jubilee

Napoli throws
5000's mission

Giordano: we must leave a mark on town custom depth

Napoli (Italy). New Napoli evangelization "does not need great preachers but missionaries, i.e., all of us" said Cardinal Michele Giordano, town archbishop. And speaking in these days with top management of his diocese, the greatest in south of Italy, with a pastoral letter to presbyteries, religious and Napoli's deacons, throws the idea of a great "popular mission". A testimony that will see protagonists from January 1999 and within Jubilee not less than five thousand voluntary "announcer". Door to door evangelization. Family by family. Community by community. In this way Napoli, suspended city between decline and development, upset by violence and indifference, will find in Church even once, voice to be born again.

Last months of 1997 and the whole 1998 will be preparation times for missionary Napoli Church task-force. "It should be a mission in which protagonists – Giordano writes– will be all pastoral operators and true our diocese believers. We will not call from the outside great preachers, all of us will be our diocese missionaries and we will bring door by door, family by family Christ invitation: Be converted and believe in Gospel. The 1998 will be an year in which missionaries get ready to Christ school and to His Gospel, to this undertaking that, with decisive help of the Holy Spirit, with most holy Virgin and our patron intercession, will Leave a deep mark on consciences, on our populations mentality and custom. This is cultural revolution that we must promote among Christian people themselves first".

All the five thousand missionaries itinerant during 1999 shall visit in Napoli at least twice one hundred families. Popular mission will coagulate already announced by young people Synod initiatives too. After historical thirtieth Napoli Church Synod and after Cardinal Giordano long pastoral visit, popular mission will constitute the most significant diocese. "Giovanni Paolo II reminded us that the word Jubilee speaks about joy – Cardinal writes – not only about interior joy but about jubilation that shows itself outside, because God coming is an visible outside event too, audible and tangible. Thus we are all invited to diffuse joyful salvation announcement. This is essentially the mission that we must perform and that clearly does not end within one year and is not consumed by Jubilee but it gives sense to the whole our spiritual and apostolic life".

With the end of pastoral visit in February, in the "With trust beyond 2000" letter Giordano indicated these objectives: family and youthful pastoral, birth of evangelizt family groups in parishes and in neighbourhood, more careful training for marriage, more effective organisation at dean level. And again: parish priests, religious institutes, laymen groups called to promote aggregation place for young people, cultural learning centres. Now the great popular mission "to create a sort of unique river – Cardinal explains – that bears witness to not Catholic, not believer or indifferent to our clerical Community consciousness world too, of renewing and saving importance of Jubilee event. A great river that will gather most concrete witnesses of faith and charity so that world believes".

Giordano speaks about an already being carried out renewal; this is an evangelization that starts from common people, from concrete laymen and groups experience, from parish priests and monks courage. Strong in Napoli and in south of Italy, the need of a new ethical code for development of South strongly asking not to remain like now. Thus Church invests on civil society. Words like confidence, legality, citizenship, co-operation and responsibility activate a learning strategy. This is the great popular mission sense. The long pastoral visit allowed Cardinal to see measurement of serious social economical, environmental, cultural country lacks for himself. But it indicated to him "humanity sense – he wrote in February – that survives below dramas passed by a lot of people". And while crime upsets even once Napoli's citizens consciences, in this city the words pronounced some weeks ago by Napoli's archbishop re-echo: "Without consciousness it's not sufficient a policeman for any person to contrast criminality. It's a moral matter".

Massimo Milone

(from Avvenire, 2.9.1997, p. 18)

edited by
fr. Paolo Benvenuto <donpaolo@gsi.it >
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