Saturday, 06 June 2020 15:04

Church Growth and the Significant Contribution of the Laity

Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila described how the early Church grew and expanded exponentially not just because of the preachings of the Apostles but because of the witness of sharing that all the believers have taken part.

This was the content of the reflection given by the bishop in one of the sessions during Online Retreat last May 28, 2020.

According to the bishop, parishioners have to be taught and involved to become good stewards, that is, helping them discover the calling entrusted to everyone by the Creator.

"In the parish, an important service that a parish can do is to make people aware of their being stewards. This is part of our vocation. Part of our call as human beings. When God created us, He created us to take care of the rest of creation. So let us be aware of this. So the parish should make people aware of their being blessed and so of their being grateful," he said.

Bishop. Pabillo pointed out that the faithful would, later on, recognize that being a steward leads to being responsible for God's creation. This means contributing to one’s time, talent and treasure. Moreover, it is a mission that is given to the faithful to fulfill within their particular situation by helping other people like families, co-workers, neighbors and most of all the poor.

"When we are aware of the gifts being given to us, we become grateful because it has been entrusted to us so that's part of the work of the Parish and the Parish makes us know our identity as human beings in front of the Creator and as I have said, as human beings, we are given a mission, a mission to be the image of God in the rest of Creation. That is to be able to take care of the rest of creation in the name of God," he added.

In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, the prelate explained that Parishes should encourage the faithful to assist the Church in their pastoral priorities such as volunteer work which enables them to value the community they are involved in. This is also true of the love offerings that they contribute which benefit the needy.

"Part of also the work in the Parish is to make people generous and when people are generous they grow in love. So let us not be afraid to ask people to volunteer especially after this COVID experience, we need a lot of young volunteers for the work in the Parish because when they volunteer, they grow in love. Let us not be afraid to ask for contributions, anyway the contributions don't come to us but to the Church, to the people whom the Church serves," he said.

The Apostolic Administrator appealed to the parishes to utilize their resources. He mentioned that in the early Church, stewardship was already being practiced. In the contemporary time, parishes are in the same way called to carry out the early Church's mission of serving the needy.

"Let us help one another. Some parishes are capable, some are not. Let us share our resources together. If we do this, there will be no poor among us and people will believe and this is a testimony of the early Church. The early Church grew and expanded exponentially, more than exponentially not just because of the preachings of the Apostles but because of the witness of sharing that they had," the bishop said. (Hazel Boquiren/RCAM-AOC)


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