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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Since Christ, sent by the Father, is the source and origin of the whole apostolate of the Church, the success of the lay apostolate depends upon the laity’s living union with Christ, in keeping with the Lord’s words, “He who abides in me, and I in him, bears much fruit, for without aposholate you can do nothing” John By virtue of this mission, the laity are fully subject to higher ecclesiastical control in the performance of this work.

Since the laity share in their own way in the mission of the Church, their apostolic formation is specially characterized by the distinctively secular and particular quality of the lay state and by its own form of the spiritual life. When the prepared draft of the document on the laity was introduced, it was criticized by a number of bishops.

Furthermore, in collaborating as citizens of this world, in whatever pertains to the upbuilding and conducting of the temporal order, the laity must seek in the light of faith loftier motives of action in their family, professional, cultural, and social life and make them known to others when the occasion arises.

For this reason the faithful should participate in the apostolate by way of united effort. For the associations established for carrying on the apostolate in common sustain their members, form them for the apostolate, and rightly organize and regulate their apostolic work so that much better results can be expected than if each member were to act apostolatw his own.

Apostllate apostolate in the social milieu, that is, the effort to infuse a Christian spirit into the mentality, customs, laws, and structures of the community in which one lives, is so much the duty and responsibility of the laity that it can never be performed properly by others.

The Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity reflected the development of the lay apostolic movements of the early 20th century.

Teachers and educators on the other hand, who carry on a distinguished form of the apostolate of the laity by their vocation and office, should be equipped with that learning and pedagogical skill that are needed for imparting such education effectively. Sacred Scripture clearly shows how spontaneous and fruitful such activity was at the very beginning of the Church cf.

The whole family in its common life, then, should be a sort of apprenticeship for the apostolate. Nor is it always fitting to transfer indiscriminately forms of the apostolates that have been used in one nation to other nations.

Bishops, pastors of parishes, and other priests of both branches of the clergy should keep in mind that the right and duty to exercise this apostolate is common to all the faithful, both clergy and laity, and that the laity also have their own roles in building up the Church.


Many decades ago the laity in many nations began to dedicate themselves increasingly to the apostolate. This obligation is imposed above all upon every prosperous nation and person. Otherwise those engaged in the apostolate are often unable to bear up under the pressure of public opinion or of social institutions.

Pastors must clearly state the principles concerning the purpose of creation and the use of temporal things and must offer the moral and spiritual aids by which the temporal order may be renewed in Christ. Chapter V Article Pius XII, allocution to cardinals, Feb. In the pilgrimage of this life, hidden with Christ decrree God and free from enslavement to wealth, they aspire to those riches which remain forever and generously dedicate themselves wholly to the advancement of the kingdom of God and to the reform and improvement of the temporal order in a Christian spirit.

These aids in formation take into consideration the various types of the apostolate in the milieu where it is exercised. These orders, although distinct, are so connected in the singular plan of God that He Himself intends to raise up the whole world again in Christ and to make it a new creation, initially on earth and completely on the last day. This mission-to be the first and vital cell of society-the family has received from God. For the advance of age brings with it a more open mind, enabling each person to detect more readily the talents with which God has enriched his soul and to exercise more effectively those charisms which the Holy Apostolats has bestowed on him for the good of his brethren.

The parish offers an obvious example of the apostolate on the community level inasmuch as it brings recree the many human differences within its boundaries and merges them into the universality of the Church.

For this purpose also centers or higher institutes have been erected, and they have already proved highly successful.

Apostolicam Actuositatem – Wikipedia

In both orders the layman, being simultaneously a believer and a citizen, should be continuously led by the same Christian conscience. Other organizations, like the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, were not lay movements, but involved many lay women and men in apostolic work. Laymen should above all learn the principles and conclusions of the social doctrine so as to become capable of working tye the development of this doctrine to the best of their ability and of rightly applying these same principles and conclusions to individual cases.

Always in union with the church, the main duty of laymen and women is to bear witness to Christ by their life and works in the home, in the church, in their social milieu, in their work and in the world.

Young persons exert very important influence in modern society. This should be done by the laity in communion with their brothers in Christ, especially with their pastors who must make a judgment about the true nature and proper use of these gifts not to extinguish the Spirit but to test all things and hold for what is good cf.

As they become more conscious of their own personalities, they are impelled by a zest for life and a ready eagerness to assume their own responsibility, and they yearn to play their part in social and cultural life. In this decree the Council seeks to describe the nature, character, and diversity of the lay apostolate, to state its basic principles, and to give pastoral directives for its more effective exercise.

From the acceptance of these charisms, including those which are more elementary, there arise for each believer the right and duty to use them in the Church and in the world for the good of men and the building up of the Church, in the freedom of the Holy Spirit who “breathes where He wills” John 3: In our own time, moreover, those who have trusted excessively in the progress of the natural sciences and the technical arts have fallen into an idolatry of temporal things and have become their slaves rather than their masters.


Apostolicam actuositatem

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. It is especially on this level that the apostolate of the laity and the pastoral ministry are mutually complementary. In spite of an assigned passive role in the church, people like Dorothy Day, founder of the Catholic Worker, Pat and Patty Crowley, founders of the Christian Family Movement, and Catherine Doherty Baroness de Hueckfounder of Friendship House, mobilized many apostolatee people in service to the poor, minorities and the family.

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. Adults should stimulate young persons off by good example to take part in the apostolate and, if the opportunity presents itself, by offering them effective advice and willing apostopate. Furthermore, the laity should be aware of the international field and of the questions and solutions, doctrinal as well ov practical, which arise in this field, with special reverence to developing nations.

Vatican II

apostoolate An indication of this manifold and pressing need is the unmistakable work being done today by the Holy No in making the laity ever more conscious of their own responsibility and encouraging them to serve Christ and thf Church in all circumstances.

They should all remember that they can reach all men and contribute to the salvation of the whole world by public worship and prayer as well as by penance and voluntary acceptance of the labors and hardships of life whereby they become like the suffering Christ cf. 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.

There are many aids for lay persons devoted to the apostolate, namely, study sessions, congresses, periods of recollection, spiritual exercises, frequent meetings, conferences, books, and periodicals directed toward the acquisition of a deeper knowledge of sacred Scripture and Catholic doctrine, the nourishment.

Decree on Instruments of Social Communication: They should remember, nevertheless, that man is naturally social and that it has pleased God to unite te who believe aposgolate Christ into the people of God cf. This is demanded not only by the continuous spiritual and doctrinal progress of the lay person himself but also by the accommodation of his activity to circumstances varying according to the affairs, persons, and duties involved.

Likewise, common human values not infrequently call for cooperation between Christians pursuing apostolic aims and those who do not profess Christ’s name but acknowledge these values.