Pope Francis has stressed the role of lay people in evangelisation in an address to Catholic Action Italy, the
country’s largest association of lay faithful.

“In the first place, parishes, especially those marked by fatigue and closures - and there are many of them - need
your apostolic enthusiasm, your availability and your full creative service," the Holy Father told the 7,000
members in the Paul VI Hall on Saturday. The lay group is holding its 15th National Assembly.
Stressing its significance during the Easter season, Francis focused on the theme: 'New people in Christ Jesus –
co-responsible for the joy of living', adding this joy is that “of the disciples in their encounter with the risen Christ."
It must be internalized, he said, “in a style of evangelizing capable of really changing lives.”
Inviting those present to be open to where the Holy Spirit will lead, he said: “In the current social and ecclesial
context, you lay people of Catholic Action are called to renew your missionary [commitment]." He said this
requires being a living example and a renewed lay apostolate, open to accepting unexplored territories. (D.C.L.)

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