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Secretariat of State - Vatican, 26 April 2006

The Church today needs a Catholic Action which is committed to making the world smell “the good fragrance of Christ” (2 Co 2:15)

Message on the occasion of the 5th American Continental Meeting in Buenos Aires

Last update: 22 March 2024


Message of Benedict XVI
V American Continental Meeting

SECRETARIAT OF STATE – Vatican, 26th April 2006 – N. 35.053


Dear brothers and sisters,

Before the forthcoming Latin American Meeting of the International Forum of Catholic Action (IFCA) which will be held in Buenos Aires, I am pleased to send H.H. Benedict XVI’s warmest greetings to all the organizers and participants.
Through the theme chosen for your Congress “ Jesus Christ’s disciples and missionaries – so that our peoples may have life in Him” you wish to stress the link that exists between being Christ’s disciples and the carrying out of His apostolic mission. In this reguard, the Holy Father encourages you to be missionaries of the Gospel by humbly and faithfully placing yourselves at the Lord’s service every single day of your lives, taking upon yourselves Christ’s sentiments by living His words and following His footsteps up to the point of giving yourselves totally to Him.

Our Baptisimal grace makes us wish to share the greatness of the Gospel with many others.
Catholic Action men and women, carry out your work in your ordinary day’s conditions of life so that your family life, your professional and civil commitments, the service which you generously give to the christian community and to the spreading of the Gospel may contribute to make Christ the heart of the world.

The Church today needs lay faithful who, associated together, contribute towards the “spirituality of unity” in the different parish and diocesan communities. In this way, they show all people how beautiful it is to look upon the Church as ones own family, thus building that communion, which, as irreplaceable leaven contributes to the unity of the great human family.
The Church today needs a Catholic Action which is committed to making the world smell “the good fragrance of Christ” (2 Co 2:15). Yes, we have an urgent need of christian lay people who “keep their gaze fixed on Jesuus (Heb 12:2) and translate the words, which they have learnt by listening to His heart, in their daily lives.
The Church relies on the generous, gratuitous and competent presence of Catholic Action so that the Gospel may reach the utmost parts of the earth and may be the leaven among the members of every community and in every culture.

Recall the triple mandate, entrusted to you by John Paul II, whom we dearly remember, to CA Associations in Italy and in all parts of the world, during the pilgrimage to Loreto on the 5th September 2004: contemplation, communion and mission and apply them as the basis of all your programmes.
You can only be faithful to these three duties if you follow Mary’s way, as God’s Servant Cardinal Eduardo Pironio very rightly used to say: “ Catholic Action’s journey is the same as Mary’s journey, a journey of fidelity and service, of contemplative silence and bearing of the cross, of joy and hope.
Whilst entrusting your meeting to our Lady of Lujan so that each one of you and each CA Association be a credible and convincing protagonist of the New Evangelizatio and a sign of hope to the peoples of the American continent, the Holy Father imparts to you all his Apostolic blessing.


With warmest regards in the Lord

Cardinal Angelo Sodano – Secretary of State


(our translation)

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