On Thursday afternoon I travelled to Rome along with the two families in mission in our parish from the Neocatechumenal way the Keatings and the Martins.
We travelled to Rome to attend the audience with Pope Francis on Friday in the Pope Paul VI Hall. Over 8,200 members of the Neocatechumenal way, some 250 families, with many priests and seminarians gathered with the Pope Francis to be officially sent on missions around the world. There are two types of families in mission: one are the families sent to parishes where a Neocatechumenal community has been formed, these families help to support the community as it grows in the parish. This is what the Keating and Martin families are doing in our parish. The second type of family in mission is called "missio ad gentes", these missions are called by the Bishops, and they are formed by a priest and four or five families, with children including grown-up ones, with a mandate to evangelize non-Christians. Non-Christians who've never heard about Jesus Christ and the many Christians who've forgotten who Jesus Christ is.
The Pope addressed those gathered by saying, "You have received the strength to leave everything behind and set off for distant lands through a process of Christian initiation, experienced and lived in small communities, where you have rediscovered the immense riches of your Baptism. This is the Neocatechumenal Way, a true gift of Providence to the Church of our time, as my predecessors have already stated; especially St. John Paul II when he said: "I recognize the Neocatechumenal Way as an itinerary of Catholic formation, valid for society and for our times". The Way is based on the three dimensions of the Church which are: the Word, Liturgy of the Eucharist and Community. So obedient and constant listening to the Word of God; the Eucharistic celebration in a small community after the first Vespers of Sunday, the family celebration of lauds (Morning Prayer) on Sunday with all the children gathered round and sharing their faith with other brothers and sisters are at the origin of the many gifts the Lord has given to you, as well as the many vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life. It is a great consolation to see all of this, because it confirms that the Spirit of God is alive and active in His Church, even today and that He meets the needs of modern man."
The Pope speech can be found in full here http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2015/03/06/pope_francis_addresses_members_of_the_neocatechumenal_way_/1127462