At 11.15 this morning, in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father Francis received in audience the members of the Communauté de l’Emmanuel, on the occasion of their annual meeting, taking place this year in Rome.
The following is the Pope’s address to those present:
Address of the Holy Father
I am very pleased to welcome you on the occasion of your annual meeting, which is held this time in Rome. This pilgrimage is the sign of the full participation of the Emmanuel Community in the communion of the whole Catholic Church. It is also an opportunity for me to thank you for your fidelity and your attachment to the Successor of Peter, to tell you of the appreciation with which I view your missionary commitment, now present on all continents, and to encourage you to persevere in the future.
This future is marked by the recent recognition of the Clerical Association of the Emmanuel Community, on August 15th, a structure made opportune due to the numerous priestly vocations that the charism of Emmanuel inspires and for a greater fruitfulness of evangelization. Far from isolating the priests from the other members of the community, lay or consecrated, I hope that this recognition, on the contrary, will give life to the beautiful communion between the states of life you have experienced for more than forty years, in the complementarity of different vocations. I also invite your communities to maintain an ever closer bond with the very rich reality of the parish of the place where they live, and to willingly integrate themselves into the organic pastoral care of the particular Church (see Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, 29).
The charism of the Emmanuel Community is inscribed in its name: Emmanuel, God with us. It is essentially from contemplation of the mystery of the incarnation, in particular from Eucharistic adoration, that you draw the missionary dynamism to announce the Good News to all those to whom Jesus offers his friendship. I encourage you to let the men and women of our time discover, wherever the Spirit sends you, the Mercy of God Who loved us to the point of dwelling among us. This Mercy of the Lord, always present close to His people, demands to be offered with a new enthusiasm through a renewed pastoral care, so as to touch people’s hearts and help them find their way back to the Father (cf. Bolla Misericordiae Vultus, 15). Where your Community is present, may the Father’s Mercy manifest itself, especially towards the poorest – in the heart or in the body – curing their wounds with the consolation of the Gospel, with solidarity and attention (ibid).
Dear friends, the Emmanuel Community, from its origins, has been able to express a real dynamism to announce the Good News in a lively and joyful way. I urge you to remain rooted in Christ through a solid interior life and trusting in the Holy Spirit, Who comes to help us in our frailty and heals us from all that weakens our missionary commitment; to cherish in the heart this ardent desire to transmit the joy of the Gospel to those who do not know it or have lost it; to be protagonists of the “outbound Church” that is the first of my desires. “The Church counts on you, on your fidelity to God’s word, on your readiness to serve, and on your testimony of lives transformed by the Holy Spirit!” (Address at the Pentecost Vigil, 3 June 2017).
Together with you I give thanks for all the road you have travelled, inspired by the Holy Spirit, Who wants us to be constantly on the move; and I invite you always to listen to Him, for there is no greater freedom than allowing oneself to be guided by the Spirit and allowing Him to enlighten us and to lead us wherever He chooses.
I entrust you all to the intercession of the Virgin Mary, asking her to guide your steps and to support your efforts. I bless you, and please do not forget to pray for me. Thank you.