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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apoetolate By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. The parish offers an obvious example of the apostolate on the community level inasmuch as it brings together the many human differences within decrre boundaries and merges them into the universality of the Church.

This charity of God, “which is poured forth in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” Rom. Christ the Lord wanted these works to be signs of His messianic mission cf. The most holy council rejoices over projects of this kind which are already flourishing in certain areas, and it desires that they tthe be promoted also in other areas where they may be needed. 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.

Chapter V Article Thus, making various dispositions of the apostolate according to circumstances, the hierarchy joins some particular form of it more closely with its own apostolic function. Hermenutic of rupture Bologna vs. All associations of the apostolate must be given due appreciation. Not only the effects but also the causes of these ills must be removed and the help be given in such a way that the recipients may gradually be freed from dependence on outsiders and become self-sufficient.

Indeed, to fulfill the needs of cities and rural areas, 3 they should not limit their cooperation to the parochial or diocesan boundaries but strive to extend it to interparochial, interdiocesan, national, and international fields.

Their members meet in small groups with their associates or friends, examine the methods and results of their apostolic activity, and compare their daily way of life with the Gospel. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. In these trying circumstances, the laity do what they can to take the place of priests, risking their freedom and sometimes their life to teach Christian doctrine to those around them, training them in a religious way of life and a Catholic way of thinking, leading them to receive the sacraments frequently and developing in them piety, especially Eucharistic devotion.

According to their ability they are true living witnesses of Christ among their companions. For in the Church there are many apostolic undertakings which are established by the free choice of the laity and regulated by their prudent judgment. The training for the apostolate should start with the children’s earliest education.


It can serve as a well-equipped center for communicating information about the various apostolic programs of the laity, promoting research into modern problems arising in this field, and assisting the hierarchy and laity in their apostolic works with its advice.

Vatican II

The formation for the apostolate presupposes a certain human and well-rounded formation adapted to the natural abilities and conditions of each lay person. Another requisite for the accomplishment of their task is a full consciousness of recree role in building up society whereby they strive to perform their domestic, social, and professional duties with such Christian generosity that their manner of acting should gradually penetrate the whole world of life and labor.

In this way they may make Christ known to others, especially by the testimony of a life resplendent in faith, hope and charity. There is a great variety of associations in the apostolate. They bring to the Church people who perhaps are far removed from it, earnestly cooperate in presenting the word of God especially by means of catechetical instruction, and offer their special skills to make the care of souls and the administration of the temporalities of the Church more efficient laify effective.

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This formation must be perfected throughout their whole life in keeping with the demands of new responsibilities. Certain forms of the apostolate of the laity are given explicit recognition by the hierarchy, though in various ways.

This is demanded not only by the continuous spiritual and doctrinal progress of the lay person apostolaate but also by the accommodation of his activity to circumstances varying according to the affairs, persons, and duties involved. Pius XI, encyclical “Casti Connubii: The laity carry out their manifold apostolate both in the Church and in the world. The faithful are called to engage in the apostolate as individuals in the varying circumstances of their life.

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.

At the present time, with the development of more rapid facilities for communication, with the barrier of distance separating men greatly reduced, with the inhabitants of the entire globe becoming one great family, these charitable activities and works have become more urgent and universal.

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 laitt in a number of documents including the four Constitutions on the church, Divine Revelation, the Sacred Liturgy and particularly on the Church in the Modern World.

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

It has pleased God to unite all things, both natural and supernatural, in Christ Jesus “so that in all things He may have the first place” Col. Christ conferred on the Apostles and their successors the duty of teaching, sanctifying, and ruling in His name and power. A vast field for the apostolate has opened up on the national and international levels where the laity especially assist with their Christian wisdom. Adults should stimulate young persons first by good example to take part in the apostolate and, if the opportunity presents itself, by offering them effective advice and willing assistance.


Major documents of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council originated as grass roots movements that were brought to fruition by the Council. All these should be regarded as norms when the canon law, as it pertains to the lay apostolate, is revised. The mission of the Church pertains to the salvation of men, which is to be achieved by belief in Christ and by His grace.

With a constantly increasing population, continual progress in science and technology, and closer interpersonal relationships, the areas for the lay apostolate have been immensely widened particularly in fields that have been for the most part open to the laity alone. Among these associations, moreover, international associations or groups of Catholics must be specially appreciated at the present time.

In various Church documents this procedure of the hierarchy is called a mandate. A particular form of the individual apostolate as well as a sign specially suited to our times is the testimony of the whole lay life arising from faith, hope, and charity.

Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity

The perfect example of this type of spiritual and apostolic life is the most Laiyy Virgin Mary, Queen of Apostles, who while leading the life common to all here on earth, one filled with family concerns and labors, was always intimately united with her Son and in an entirely aposttolate way cooperated in the work of the Savior.

Pius XI, encyclical “Rerum Ecclesiae: Apostolicam Actuositatem acknowledges the central importance of the laity in the mission of the Catholic Church. This formation should be deemed the basis and condition for every successful apostolate.

Entrusted with charges more closely associated with the duties lf pastors in teaching, liturgical action, care of souls and administration of church affairs.

Indeed, by the precept of charity, which is the Lord’s greatest commandment, all the faithful are impelled to promote the glory of Tne through the coming of Decre kingdom and to obtain eternal life for all men-that they may know the only true God and Him whom He sent, Jesus Christ cf.

Retrieved 18 May While preserving the proper character and autonomy of each organization, these councils will be able to promote the mutual coordination of various lay associations and enterprises. Christ made this commandment of love of neighbor His own and enriched it with a new meaning. Indeed, the organic union in this body and the structure of the members are so compact that the member who fails to make his proper contribution to the development of the Church must be said to be useful neither to the Church nor to himself.