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Thursday, January 04, 2007




I hope that you are well. Your question of parish vs. movment has intrigued me for some time.

It surfaced again when I was reading Fr. Giussani's Journey to Truth...", pages 110-121. He starts exactly where you do in your post today, with the person of the bishop, but also noting that the parish structure was a late and resisted development and an istrument with certain limitations. Because of the work that bishops give to dioceses and parishes, we must be absolutely loyal to them. Parishes are valuable because they bring the Church close to the family. Because the life of teenagers and young adults don't orbit around the parish (as families do), the Church needs a way of meeting them in their own environment: school and work. The movmement, then, asks for a certain flexibility from the parish because the work of the movement builds on parish work of early catechesis: "it is meant to be the instrument that saves the Christian seed the parish germinates through a vital rediscovery of Christianity" (121).

Two points occur to me as I think about these passages.
1. the experience of American adults is remarkably similar to that of the young people Fr. Giussani wrote about - which explains the appeal of CL to older people in the US. I don't live at the parish: I live at work.

2. the origin of CL is the task of educating the young. This would seem to be the way to propose CL to the parish: as a way of helping young people to live their faith in school or the workplace.


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