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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Their efforts paralleled the work of many others who developed movements to make Christ present in the everyday world. However, an apostolate of this kind does not consist only in the witness of one’s way of life; a true apostle looks for opportunities to announce Christ by words addressed either to non-believers with a view to leading them to faith, or to the faithful with a view to instructing, strengthening, and encouraging them to a more fervent life.

Decree on Instruments of Social Communication: It has pleased God to unite all things, both natural and supernatural, in Christ Jesus “so that in all things He may have the first place” Col.

Vatican II: Decree on the Apostolate of Lay People: Excerpts on the Eucharist

Apostolicam Actuositatem acknowledges the central importance of the laity in the mission of the Catholic Church. So, too, in every era it is recognized by this sign of love, and while it rejoices in the undertakings of others, it claims works of charity as its own inalienable duty and right. This apostolate becomes more imperative in view of the fact that many areas of human life have become increasingly autonomous.

A vast field for the apostolate has opened up on the national and international levels where the laity especially assist with their Christian wisdom.

Their heightened influence in society demands of them a proportionate apostolic activity, but their natural qualities also fit them for this activity. In this laityy, by giving spiritual help to one another through friendship and the communicating of the benefit of their experience, they are trained to overcome the disadvantages of excessively isolated life and activity and to make their apostolate more productive.

Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. They fulfill their mission also by fraternal charity which presses them to share in the living conditions, labors, sorrows, and aspirations of their brethren with the result that the hearts of all about them are quietly prepared for tthe workings of saving grace.

For this purpose also centers or higher institutes have been erected, and they have already proved highly successful. Other organizations, like the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, were not lay movements, but involved many lay women and men in apostolic work. Sacred Scripture clearly shows how spontaneous and fruitful such activity was at the very beginning of the Church cf.


For this reason the faithful should participate in the apostolate by way of united effort.

All activity of the Mystical Body directed to the attainment of this goal is called the apostolate, which the Church carries on in various ways through all her members. Louis, one of the most outspoken of the American hierarchy, charged that the draft lakty from clericalism, juridicism and favoritism, the latter referring to the fact that the document ignored all lay movements that preceded the Council except Catholic Action.

Thus, making various dispositions of the apostolate according to circumstances, the hierarchy joins some particular form of it more closely with its own apostolic function. In various Church documents this procedure of the hierarchy is called a mandate. If this zeal is imbued with the spirit of Christ and is inspired by obedience and love for the Church, it can be expected to be very fruitful.

Vatican II

Apostplate apostolate apoostolate reach out to all wherever they may be encountered; it should not exclude any spiritual or temporal benefit which they have the ability to confer. The faithful are called to engage in the apostolate as individuals decrre the varying circumstances of their life. Adults ought to engage in such friendly discussion with young people that both age groups, overcoming the age barrier, may become better acquainted and share the special benefits each generation can offer the other.

In the present circumstances, it is quite necessary that, in the area of lay activity, the united and organized form of the apostolate be strengthened. Deserving of special honor and commendation in the Church are those lay people, single or married, who devote themselves with professional experience, either permanently or temporarily, to the service of associations and their activities.

Apostolicam actuositatem

The Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity reflected the development of the lay apostolic movements of the early 20th century. Young persons exert very important influence in modern society.

Pius XII, allocution to the first convention of laymen representing all llaity on the promotion of the apostolate Oct. A particular vocation to make the church present and fruitful in those places and circumstances where it is only through them that she can become the salt of the earth.

The quasi-common heritage of the Gospel and the common duty of Christian witness resulting from it recommend and frequently require the cooperation of Catholics with other Christians, on the part of individuals and communities within the Church, either in activities or in associations, in the national or international field. This is as it should be, but it sometimes involves a degree of departure from the ethical and religious order and a serious danger to Christian life.


Therefore, the laity should hold in high esteem and, according to their ability, aid the works of charity and projects for social assistance, whether public or private, including international programs whereby effective help is given to needy individuals and peoples.

Otherwise those engaged in the apostolate are often unable to bear up under the pressure of public opinion or of social institutions. Christ’s redemptive work, while essentially concerned with the salvation of men, includes also the renewal of the whole temporal order.

Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity

Catholics skilled in public affairs and adequately enlightened in faith and Christian doctrine should not refuse to administer pubic affairs since by doing this in a worthy manner they can both further the common good and at the same time prepare the way for the Gospel.

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.

The importance of general culture along with practical and technical formation no also be kept in mind. The various movements and projects of the apostolate of the laity throughout the world should also be represented in this secretariat, and here clergy and Religious also are to cooperate with the laity. Furthermore, in collaborating as citizens decrde 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 apostolatte action in their family, professional, cultural, and social life and make them known to others when the occasion arises.

Second Vatican Council, Decree on Ecumenism, no. It is a function of the lay apostolate sedulously to promote this awareness and to transform it into a sincere and genuine love of brotherhood. They exercise the apostolate in fact by their activity directed to the evangelization and sanctification of men and to the penetrating and perfecting of the temporal order through the spirit of the Gospel. Chronological list of ecumenical councils.

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