Reviving the Apostolic Church

INTRODUCTION

The Neocatechumenal Way is a worldwide Catholic movement that makes the participants rediscover their baptism. Many conversions and vocations to the ministry are often the cherished result of their demanding formation journey.

WRITTEN BY

SHARE THE WORD

PUBLISHED ON

In March 2008, nine cardinals and 160 European bishops gathered at the Mount of the Beatitudes in Palestine, at the center of the Neocatechumenal Way. On that occasion, Cardinal Schönborn said: “During the last 40 years Europe has said ‘no’ to its future three times: in 1968 when it rejected Humanae Vitae; then twenty years later with the legalization of abortion; and today with homosexual marriages.” He called the Neocatechumenal Way an “answer of the Holy Spirit to this situation.”

The Neocatechumenal Way, also known colloquially as The Way, is a movement within the Catholic Church dedicated to Christian formation of adults. Taking its inspiration from the catechumenate of the early Church by which converts from paganism were prepared for baptism with thorough instruction, it provides post-baptismal formation to adults who are already members of the Church.

It originated in Spain in 1964 through the inspiration and dedication of two lay persons: Francisco “Kiko” Argüello and Carmen Hernández, with the purpose of evangelizing the slums of Madrid. In 1968, Argüello and Hernández arrived in Rome and started the first community in the Parish of the Canadian Martyrs. Since then, The Way has continued to spread to dioceses and mission countries around the world.

The Neocatechumenate is implemented in small, parish-based communities of between twenty to fifty people. It is estimated that there are more than 40,000 such communities throughout the world, with well over a million members. It also runs a hundred seminaries in various locations, and is responsible for hundreds of “families in mission” living in many cities around the world. In June 2008 the statutes of the Neo catechumenal Way received final approval from the Vatican.

God’s Marvelous Work
On that occasion, Fr. Mario Pezzi, the priest who belongs to the leading team with Kiko and Carmen, said: “I am very happy and grateful to the Lord for this day when the Way is recognized by the ministry of Peter. I also have a story. Before being ordained a priest, I experienced an inner struggle. I was seeing a gap between priests and God’s people; people did not understand their language; the liturgy had very little influence in people’s lives; there was like a divorce between faith and life”.

Searching for an answer to his inner turmoil, the young priest met with the Neocatechumenal Way. He was attracted; he joined and found peace. Fr. Mario not only found serenity in The Way, but was also called to join Kiko and Carmen as the first presbyter. Since then he has belonged to the “International Responsible Team” of The Way and he will be in such position for his entire life.

Pope John Paul II summarized the role of the NC Way’s itinerant catechists in December 1985: “They contribute by forming the first Neocatechumenal communities of a parish, and are supposed to maintain regular contact with the bishops of the diocese in which they work”.

Approximately every three years, the World Youth Day has been organized by the Roman Catholic Church, during which the Pope summons youths from all over the world to a chosen city. The Way has been an active supporter of these, rallying its young members to attend. For instance, during World Youth Day 2008, 40,000 youth members were from the Neocatechumenal Way.

Extraordinary Vocational Call
During the event, the youth members usually meet with Argüello for a “vocational call.” In Sydney, for example, approximately 1,500 men answered the call for the priesthood and 850 young women stood up to show their willingness to enter the consecrated life. The same happened in other World Youth Days. These young men and women then begin a process of discernment in their own dioceses and communities, which may lead to priesthood or consecrated life.

The spreading of the Neocatechumenal Way has not been without controversies and criticisms, especially because of the length of their formation journey and the fact that The Way separates its members from the rest of the parish communities. On the whole, however, this has been avoided with better dialogue and understanding between the leaders of The Way and the local pastors.

On March 6, 2015, Pope Francis told the “Families in Mission” of The Way: “I confirm your call, I support your mission and I bless your charism. You will go in Christ’s name to the whole world to bring his Gospel: Christ precedes you; Christ accompanies you; Christ will bring to fulfillment the salvation of which you are bearers!”

Share Your Thoughts

All comments are moderated

From The Same Issue

The articles and content about this issue

From The Same Issue

The articles and content about this issue

From This Topic

The articles and content about this topic

From This Topic

The articles and content about this topic

Winds of the Spirit

Five Loves

Explore Other Topics

Browse other coverage

Explore Other Topics

Browse other coverage

WM SPECIAL

Presents, discusses and draws readers to reflect on issues of outmost relevance to the world today.


FRONTIERS

Very often, mission is carried out in frontier situations around the world. Those who embrace these situations have much to share.


UNITY IN DIVERSITY

Writer Ilsa Reyes will be exploring the richness of Pope Francis’s latest encyclical Fratelli Tutti with a view of helping our readers to get a grasp of the this beautiful papal document.


FRONTLINE

Puts to the front committed and inspiring people around the world who embrace humanitarian and religious causes with altruism and passion.


IN FOCUS

Focus on a given theme of interest touching upon social, economic and religious issues.


FAITH@50

As the Philippines prepares to celebrate 500 years of the arrival of Christianity. Fr. James Kroeger leads us in this series into a discovery journey of the landmark events in the history of faith in the Philippine archipelago.


INSIGHT

Aims to nurture and inspire our hearts and minds while pondering upon timely themes.


FILIPINO FOCUS

The large archipelago of the Philippines, in its richness of peoples and cultures, offers varied and challenging situations for mission.


FOLLOW ME

Reflections and vocation stories that shape up the lives of young people.


MISSION IS FUN

As humor and goodness of heart are qualities of Christian and missionary life, the new column “Mission is fun” will be publishing some anecdotes and stories that have happened in a missionary context to lighten up the spirits and trigger a smile in our faces.


LIVING COMMUNION

To help readers of World Mission live this year dedicated to Ecumenism, Interreligious Dialogue and Indigenous Peoples, Tita Puangco, writer and lecturer, shares in this section insights on the spirituality of communion.


WINDS OF THE SPIRIT

A historic view of the Catholic movements that emerged from the grassroots as an inspiration by the Holy Spirit.


BRIDGE BUILDERS

On the Year of Ecumenism, Interreligious Dialogue and Indigenous Peoples, radio host and communicator Ilsa Reyes, in her monthly column, encourages Christians and people of good will to be one with their fellow people of other sects, religions and tribes.


INTERVIEW

Questions to a personality of the Church or secular world on matters of interest that touch upon the lives of people.


WORLD TOUCH

News from the Church, the missionary world and environment that inform and form the consciences.


CARE OF THE EARTH

A feature on environmental issues that are affecting the whole world with the view of raising awareness and prompting action.


EDITORIAL

The editor gives his personal take on a given topic related to the life of the Church, the society or the world.


YOUNG HEART

A monthly column on themes touching the lives of young people in the Year of the Youth in the Philippines by radio host and communicator I lsa Reyes.


SCROLL

A missionary living in the Chinese world shares his life-experiences made up of challenges and joyous encounters with common people.


EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE

Life stories of people who deserve to be known for who they were, what they did and what they stood for in their journey on earth.


ONE BY ONE

Stories of people whom a missionary met in his life and who were touched by Jesus in mysterious ways.


INCREASE OUR FAITH

Critical reflection from a Christian perspective on current issues.


SPECIAL MOMENTS

Comboni missionary Fr. Lorenzo Carraro makes a journey through history pinpointing landmark events that changed the course of humanity.


PROFILE

A biographical sketch of a public person, known for his/her influence in the society and in the Church, showing an exemplary commitment to the service of others.


WM REPORTS

Gives fresh, truthful, and comprehensive information on issues that are of concern to all.


LIFE'S ESSENTIALS

A column aimed at helping the readers live their Christian mission by focusing on what is essential in life and what it entails.


ASIAN FOCUS

Peoples, events, religion, culture and the society of Asia in focus.


THE SEARCHER'S PATH

The human heart always searches for greatness in God’s eyes, treading the path to the fullness of life - no matter what it takes.


INDIAN FOCUS

The subcontinent of India with its richness and variety of cultures and religions is given center stage.


AFRICAN FOCUS

The African continent in focus where Christianity is growing the fastest in the world.


JOURNEY MOMENTS

Well-known writer and public speaker, Fr. Jerry Orbos, accompanies our journey of life and faith with moments of wit and inspiration based on the biblical and human wisdom.


IGNATIUS STEPS

On the year dedicated to St. Ignatius of Loyala, Fr. Lorenzo Carraro walks us through the main themes of the Ignatian spirituality.


THE SEVEN LAST WORDS OF JESUS

Fr. John Taneburgo helps us to meditate every month on each of the Seven Last Words that Jesus uttered from the cross.


INSIDE THE HOLY BOOK

In this section, Fr. Lorenzo delves into the secrets and depths of the Sacred Scriptures opening for us the treasures of the Sacred Book so that the reader may delight in the knowledge of the Word of God.


CONVERSATIONS

Reflections about the synodal journey on a conversational and informal style to trigger reflection and sharing about the synodal path the Church has embarked upon.

Shopping Cart