Tuesday, September 26, 2006

You Will Be My Witnesses

On the website of one the largest dioceses in the world, the Archdiocese of Milan (http://www.diocesi.milano.it), that Dionigi Card. Tettamanzi (whom many consider a frontrunner among the papabili), on 8 September, feast of the Nativity of Mary, has initiated a missionary-style program of conversion there parish by parish. His Eminence has issued for this purpose a major pastoral letter entitled "Mi Sarete Testimoni…You Will Be My Witnesses" (cf. Acts 1:8) outlining a three-year plan. In his homily for the feast of the Nativity of Mary, Card. Tettamanzi stressed the importance of assuring that celebration of Sunday Masses, especially, was characterized by a very highly quality so that people could truly experience an encounter with God and thus be more able to give themselves over to Him in obedience. In response to the problem of so many people being sacramentalized but not actually, interiorly evangelized, the Archbishop of Milan also stresses the frequent reception of the sacraments in a way that is lived. Moreover, he urges the presence of solid practicing Christians in every aspect of the life of society. We cannot opt out and we must bring something new and fresh to the world. In his presentation of his program Card. Tettamanzi seems to be making an integral connection between what we receive through Holy Mass and the graces that come from the other sacraments, and the mores and trends of society as a whole. As the one goes, so goes the other. His Eminence is also basically saying that what has been going on as a routine for a long time now is no longer adequate. He is shaking things up in Milan.

Cardinal Tettamanzi did extra-ordinary things in his former diocese of Genoa, considered by many to to be the most conservative in Italy, simply by encouraging Catholics to be Catholic. From what I understand he encouraged regular confession, daily Mass, traditional prayer especially in families or small groups and training orthodox catechists who are capable of challenging men and women to love the Gospel. His time there saw large numbers of ordinations and professions of women to religious life, as well as a growth in "new" movements. Above all his central message seemed to be, "Do what the Church tells you!".
In connection with that, read this.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Who is Fr Stephen?