Pastor’s Letter, April 23

Brothers and Sisters,

In the wake of the Second Vatican Council the Holy Spirit inspired the formation of various new communities for evangelization, renewal and catechesis. One of these groups is called the Neocatechumenal Way.

The Neocatechumenal Way, also known as the Neocatechumenate, is a program of Christian formation for Catholics. It was initiated in Madrid, Spain in 1964 by Kiko Arguello and Carmen Hernandez. The program is inspired by the formation of Christians in the early church by which converts from paganism were prepared for baptism. it also provides post-baptismal formation to adults who are already members of the Church or to those far from the Church who have been attracted to the Catholic Church.

The Neocatechumenate is implemented in parish-based communities of up to 50 people. In 2007 there were around 20,000 such communities throughout the World, with an estimated million Catholics following the program. Due to numerous vocations coming from the families formed in the communities, it has also helped to establish and run over 100 missionary diocesan seminaries in various locations. They are called “Redemptoris Mater” seminaries. It is responsible for communities of “families in mission”, living in many cities around the world. Members of the Neocatechumenate are also involved in direct evangelization.

Here in the Diocese of Charleston Bishop Guglielmone gave permission for the members of the Neocatechumenal Way to meet for fellowship and Bible Study at Our Lady of the Rosary parish. Members of OLR who are also members of the Neocatechumenal Way have been doing so for a couple of years.

Bishop Fabre-Jeune has now given permission for the members of the Neo Catechumenal Way to celebrate Mass together at Our Lady of the Rosary. A visiting priest who is a member of the Way joins them on Saturday nights at 8pm in the Lower Church.

The members of The Way come from our parish and other parishes in the Upstate. I am also pleased that the members of the Way are going to be active in door-to-door evangelization in our parish area.

Members of this energetic and committed group are contributing their time and talents to the growing outreach of Our Lady of the Rosary here in this needy part of Greenville and we are glad to welcome them.

Your Pastor,

Fr. Longenecker