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Card. Erdö explains why families and the laity are key in the New Evangelization

2012-10-17

CARD. PETER ERDÖ
President, Council of European Episcopal Conferences

 "What you have to do, is follow the Acts of the Apostles, specifically its reference to the first community of Jerusalem, so common prayer and common Eucharist. That is the source of all strength, especially for evangelization.”

His proposal is to visit and talk to every Catholic family. For that to happen,  it's necessary to prepare lay people, so they in turn can help bishops and parish priests. In Hungary, which is his native country, families are being taught and in some cases re-taught, how to live the faith in their home.

CARD. PETER ERDÖ
President, Council of European Episcopal Conferences

"Unfortunately, nowadays, one is used to buying the Christmas tree and then not really knowing what to do, and how to celebrate.  This is also seen in Catholics families-and it's something that's very sad. We have to help families understand how to celebrate, how to enjoy the  mysteries of our faith in the home and in the family environment.”

Getting the message out to the youth is key, but seniors, he says, are just as important. Especially in Europe where the older generation is quite large.

CARD. PETER ERDÖ
President, Council of European Episcopal Conferences

"Here in this continent there are many who are already retired, but who can still work very well, especially in the community, civil society and in the Church, as volunteers. That is especially true for  those between the ages of 65 and 75. For example in Budapest there are Caritas groups in every parish, run mostly by retired seniors.”

Ultimately, the goal is for families to evangelize to other families while having bishops and parishes as a pillar of support. Above all, he says the best way to evangelize is not only through words, but most importantly through actions.

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