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Decree on the Apostolate of Lay People. By Deacon Ed Sheffer. Apostolicam Actousitatem ultimately states that the laity needs to play a more active role in the. Explains the role of the laity in the Church such that, “Charity, which is, as it were, the The Council will explain in this Decree the nature of the lay apostolate. The Decree on Ecumenism was rooted in the Ecumenical The Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity reflected the development of the lay.

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Once again He sends them into every town and place where He will come cf. They should also take care to provide for these lay people the necessary formation, spiritual consolation, and incentive. The apostolate of the Church and of all its members is primarily designed to manifest Christ’s message by words and deeds and to communicate His grace to the world. In spite of an assigned passive role in the church, people like Dorothy Day, founder of the Catholic Worker, Pat and Patty Crowley, founders of the Christian Family Movement, and Catherine Doherty Baroness de Hueckfounder of Friendship House, mobilized many lay people in service to the poor, minorities and the family.

Formation of this type must be so organized that it takes into account the whole lay apostolate, which must be carried on not only among the organized groups themselves but also in all circumstances throughout one’s whole life, especially one’s professional and social life. Views Read Edit View history.

They should also hold in high esteem professional skill, family and civic spirit, and the virtues relating to social customs, namely, honesty, justice, sincerity, kindness, and courage, without which no true Christian life can exist. The temporal order must be renewed in such a way that, without detriment to its own proper laws, it may be brought into conformity with the higher principles of the Christian life and adapted to the shifting circumstances of time, place, and peoples.

Maintaining the proper relationship to Church authorities, 5 the laity have the right to found and control such associations 6 and to join those already existing. The concept of an enhanced lay participation in the life of the church was by no means restricted to the Decree on the Lay Apostolate but was incorporated in a number of documents including the four Constitutions on the church, Divine Revelation, the Sacred Liturgy decreee particularly on the Church in the Modern World.


The apostolate can ths its maximum effectiveness only through a diversified and thorough formation.

Vatican II

They should be so involved in the tje community of the parish that they will acquire a consciousness of being living and active members of the people of God. A special secretariat, moreover, should be established at the Holy See for the service and promotion of the lay apostolate. In this way they may make Christ known to others, decrwe by the testimony of a life resplendent ths faith, hope and charity. This article needs additional citations for verification. The quasi-common heritage of the Gospel and the common duty of Christian witness resulting from it recommend and frequently require the cooperation of Catholics with other Christians, on the part of individuals and communities within the Church, either in activities or in associations, in the national or international field.

Chapter III Article It manifests Christ living in those who believe in Him. Of these associations, or even among similar and older institutions, those are specially noteworthy which followed different methods of operation and yet produced excellent results for Christ’s kingdom.

Vatican II: Decree on the Apostolate of Lay People: Excerpts on the Eucharist

Bishops, pastors of parishes, and other priests of both branches in the clergy should keep in mind that the right and duty to exercise this apostolate is common to all the faithful, both clergy and laity, and that the laity also have their own roles in building up the Church.

In the manner of the men decgee women who helped Paul in spreading the Gospel cf. Those, however, which the hierarchy have praised or recommended as responsive to the needs of time and place, or have ordered to be established as particularly urgent, must be held in highest esteem by priests, Religious, and laity and promoted according to each one’s ability.

Only by the light of faith and by meditation on the word of God can one always and everywhere recognize God in Whom “we live, and move, and have our being” Acts These orders, although distinct, are so connected in the singular plan of God that He Himself intends to raise up the whole world again in Christ and to make it a new creation, initially on earth and completely on the last day.


Organizations of lay members of the Catholic Church who are neither in Holy Orders nor members of religious institutes. Following Jesus in His poverty, they are neither depressed by the lack of temporal goods nor inflated by their abundance; imitating Christ in His humility, they have no obsession for empty honors cf.

Young persons exert very important influence in modern society. By example especially they should teach apostolat little by little to be solicitous for the material and spiritual needs of their neighbor. Apostolicam Actuositatem follows upon Lumen gentiumthe “Dogmatic Constitution on laoty Church”, of 21 Novemberwhich in Chapter IV, discusses the laity, by which they mean all the faithful except those in Holy Orders or religious institutes.

Always adhering faithfully to the spirit and teaching of the Church, they should promote proper relations been laity and hierarchy. This charity of God, “which is poured forth in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” Rom.

Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity

They should remember, nevertheless, that man is naturally social and that it has pleased God to unite those who believe in Christ into the people of God cf. Among the trials of this life they find strength in hope, convinced that “the sufferings of the present time are not worthy to be compared with apstolate glory to come that will be revealed in us” Rom.

The laity derive the right and lf to the apostolate from their union with Christ the head; incorporated into Christ’s Mystical Body through Baptism and strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit through Confirmation, they are assigned to the apostolate by the Lord Himself. Entrusted with charges more closely associated with the duties of pastors in teaching, liturgical action, care of souls and administration of church affairs.