The quality of life offered by the State is not the direct responsibility of the Church: the Church’s role is to present an alternative reflection upon this reality as it exists in the pluralistic world of today – a reflection which is inspired by the Word of God.  It falls squarely upon the shoulders of the Christian to convey this message in a variety of ways.

This statement was made by Archbishop Paul Cremona OP, during the closing session of a Diocesan conference which was organized on the occasion of the Day of Christian Laity, celebrated by the Church in Malta on Sunday, 27th February 2011.

Archbishop Cremona went on to say that the Christian should reach out with a lot of love, and without fear, in order to pass on his beliefs to society.  One way of doing this is by writing letters to the newspaper.  The role of bringing about change is society is not just the responsibility of the bishop but also of all Christians, because they too are citizens.

He continued to say that with respect to the anti-divorce campaign, there need to be members of the laity who, inspired by Christ, will be capable of coming out into the open to and convey all that which they believe in.  In order for this to be possible, Christians must be properly prepared, not to attack others, but to enlighten them, for this is not a crusade.  The prevailing atmosphere needs to be one in which those who are inspired by Christ feel the need to pass on all that which they have received to the rest of society.

Alluding to the theme of the Conference, the Archbishop stated that the dignity of every member of the Church emanates from his Baptism.  As Christians, we should not simply volunteer to work within our parish because we have been called upon by the parish priest to do so, but by the very fact of our Baptism. The departure point of evangelization is the fact that the Christian has accepted the Word of God and after this has been transformed internally into the Good News, he is prepared to share it with others.

The Conference was held in the auditorium of St Monica School in Birkirkara and was attended by around 500 people, mostly members of the laity who in some way or other, perform pastoral work in their respective parishes.

The Pastoral Secretary, Mons Charles Cordina also addressed the Conference. He stated that every pastoral task, no matter who performs it, should first and foremost be the fruit of the personal experience which, as a Christian, one must have of the Lord Jesus.  He insisted upon the necessity of a strong and ongoing formation which is also listed as one of the priorities of the Diocesan Synod.

During the Conference, a discussion was held between the laity and parish priests regarding several practical aspects of pastoral work which the laity perform in their parish.  There were a number of comments and points raised by those who were present.

It is now expected that the Secretariat for the Laity, which organizes this Conference on an annual basis, will undertake an evaluation with regards to issues which came to light during the discussion.  As a result of this evaluation, the Secretariat, in collaboration with other entities within the Archdiocese, will be in a position to channel its efforts in order that the contribution of the Christian laity in the parish may increase and render an outcome that is fruitful.

Click on the photo to enlarge. The photos of the Archbishop’s events may be purchased from PHOTOCITY, Valletta. Tel: 21236723. Email: [email protected]