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Thursday, 14 October 2004


Dear Brothers,

1. I welcome you with great joy on the occasion of the General Chapter of the Society of the Catholic Apostolate, born from the great love of St Vincent Pallotti. I address a cordial greeting to each one. In particular, I greet the new Rector General, Fr Fritz Kretz, whom I thank for the courteous words with which he has described to me the future prospects of your Religious Family. I extend my thoughts to the new General Regime and all the Confreres who work generously in various parts of the world.

2. During the General Assembly, you have reflected on certain religious challenges that the Institute must face at this point in history. In particular, you have defined more clearly the service that your Society is called to carry out in the context of the Union of the Catholic Apostolate. You, Pallottine Religious Priests and Brothers, are like the trunk of the great tree that, through the participation of lay people in the original intuition of your charism, extends its branches to the various social milieus to invigorate them with an authentic Gospel spirit. To carry out this mission, you must remain firmly anchored to Christ, whom St Vincent Pallotti loved and served with heroic fidelity. Only on this condition will your Communities be "living cells of Pallottine inspiration and activity".

3. This faithfulness to the spirit of your origins demands of you constant formation and shared missionary concern. Only those who strive ceaselessly for a "high standard" of ordinary Christian living can make pastoral choices that are truly effective in their apostolate.

May all these things be founded on intense prayer and an assiduous sacramental life centred on the Eucharist. Spirituality and apostolate, formation and mission are the two sides of the one Gospel perfection that shines out in St Vincent Pallotti's exemplary life.

Dear friends, as I entrust you to the heavenly intercession of your Founder and to the motherly protection of Mary, Queen of the Apostles, I cordially impart to you and to the entire Pallottine Family a special Apostolic Blessing.

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