CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 15 September 2018

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Communion and mission 
in lay ministry

 The more than eight months since the Hong Kong diocese began the Year of the Laity with a series of formation programmes have passed in the twinkle of an eye. Various organisations, including the Task Unit of the Diocesan Year of the Laity, diocesan formation groups and parishes, have conducted a variety of activities to deepen the awareness of Christian identity among people and to promote public witness to the faith.
It has drawn some attention within the local Church, creating a knock-on effect and further enhancing the formation of the faithful.
The Year of the Laity has been extended until 2012, presenting a good opportunity to encourage more Catholic people to get involved in serving in the Church and enabling the lay ministry to develop in greater depth and breadth.
In this regard, two aspects present themselves: on the one hand, the concept of ministry is not widely accepted and there is no knowledge of the fact that this is part of Christian baptism; and on the other hand, even those who have taken up ministry have failed to deepen or have ignored the close relationship between ministry and mission, as well as between ministry and Church.
Most people find the role of ministry unfamiliar and even see it as having no relevance to them. One of the reasons is that many people, based on personal experience, see that those who are engaged in ministry are either clergy, religious, or, in their eyes, unusually devout and capable Catholics. Most consider themselves as ordinary Church-goers, who are not qualified for ministry.
The role of the Church is to proclaim the good news of the resurrected Christ. This is not limited to words, but should also be manifest in concrete actions, so as to make real the presence of Christ. Ministry is not the exclusive domain of a minority, but is a call, and mission of every Christian.
While those who are committed and serve actively may love the ministry they undertake and are willing to make the necessary sacrifices, they may not always be able to foster communication and communion, consequently not obtaining gratuitous and mutual support from within the community.
The lay ministry seminar will be held on September 13 to address these matters. It is hoped that it will bear fruit that will enable the lay ministry in the diocese to turn a new page and better respond to the needs of the world in the evangelisation outreach of the Church.
In communion with one another, we can show unity in diversity as a Church. Standing together, the lay faithful can live out the mission of the Church and give a small foretaste of heaven on earth.
Let us learn to distinguish who we are from what we do, because mission comes from God’s call and is rooted in the communion of the Blessed Trinity. SE