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Clementine Hall
Saturday, 7 April 2018



Dear Friends,

I am very pleased to welcome you on the occasion of your annual meeting, which this time is being held in Rome. This pilgrimage is a sign of the Emmanuel Community’s full participation in the communion of the whole Catholic Church. It is also an opportunity for me to thank you for your fidelity and bond with the Successor of Peter, to tell you how much I appreciate your missionary commitment which is now present on all continents, and to encourage you to persevere in the future.

This future is marked by the recent recognition, last 15 August, of the Emmanuel Community’s Clerical Association, an organization that has become opportune due to the many priestly vocations that the Emmanuel charism inspires, and for a more fruitful evangelization. Far from isolating priests from the other members of the Community, lay or consecrated, I hope that on the contrary this recognition will vivify the beautiful communion among the states of life which you have experienced for more than 40 years in the complementary nature of the different vocations. I also invite your communities to maintain an ever closer bond with the rich reality of the local parish in which they live, and to integrate readily into the overall pastoral activity of the particular Church (cf. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, 29).

The charism of the Emmanuel Community is inscribed in its name: Emmanuel, God with us. Essentially, it is from contemplation of the mystery of the Incarnation, in particular from Eucharistic adoration, that you draw missionary dynamism to proclaim the Good News to all those to whom Jesus offers his friendship. Wherever the Spirit sends you, I encourage you to enable the men and women of our time to discover the Mercy of God who loved us to the point of dwelling among us. This Mercy of the Lord, ever present, close to his people, seeks to be proposed with fresh enthusiasm through a renewed pastoral care, so that it can touch the hearts of people and encourage them to find their way back to the Father (cf. Bull Misericordiae Vultus, 15). May the Father’s Mercy be manifest in those places where your Community is present, especially toward the poorest — in heart and body — healing their wounds with the comfort of the Gospel, with solidarity and attention (ibid.).

Dear friends, since its origins, the Emmanuel Community has been able to express a real dynamism in proclaiming 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 the aid of our frailty and heals us from all that weakens our missionary commitment; to cherish in your 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 “outward bound Church” which is foremost 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!” (Discourse on the Vigil of Pentecost, 3 June 2017).

Together with you I give thanks for the whole path you have travelled, driven by the Holy Spirit, who wants us to be constantly journeying; and I invite you to always remain attentive to him, because there is no greater freedom than that of allowing ourselves to be guided by the Spirit and allowing him to illuminate us and lead us where he wills.

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.

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