PIOUS ASSOCIATIONS &

PASTORAL CHALLENGES

Rev. Dr. THIRD YEAR. BELGIUM PIOUS ASSOCIATIONS & PASTORAL CHALLENGES A SEMINAR PAPER FOR BACHELOR’S DEGREE IN THEOLOGY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES. Cherian Varicatt Presented by. Cherengaden Dinoy. Promoter.Katholieke Universiteit Leuven FACULTY OF THEOLOGY. SDV. ROLL NO: 10308. 31 TH OCTOBER . 2011 .

.................... Ego Problems....................................................................... Meaning ...................................................2 5.......................3 8.............................................................2..................................2 4............................1.......................5 9................................. Some Pastoral Challenges Of Pious Associations................................ Historical Part.............................6 ................ Importance of Pious Associations...............................................................................6 I Church Documents............................................................ Theology of Charity and Pious associations.......................................................... Introduction......................................................... Political Goals............................1 4....................................................4 9.......... Different Types of Pious Associations ....................4 9...................................1 1..........................................CONTENTS Pious Associations And Pastoral Challenges.............................6 BIBLIOGRAPHY ............. Unhealthy Competitions Between Associations ............................... Some Pastoral Principles and Solutions..................2..........................................4...................1 3.1 2..................................3 7..................................................................................................... Purpose of Pious Associations.......................................................................................................... Self-Centered Activities.................5 10.........................................2 4......5...................4 9............ In The Early Church..............2 6..................................................................................................1......................................... Biblical Part................. Imbalance In Activity...............4 9...................................................................... Conclusion...............................................................................................................................5 11.......................... Middle Ages....................................................................................3.............................................................................4 9........

MEANING The term ‘Pious’ comes from the Latin word pietas. It is by the reception of baptism every Christian participates in the mission and ministry of Jesus in the Church. available from http://fremmanuel.html. Vol. INTRODUCTION All Christian faithful have a right to form associations. “Pious Associations” (2006). who believed in Jesus Christ. They sold their private property and laid it at the feet of the apostles (Ac 4. Paul collects from different churches for the persecuted Church in Jerusalem (2 Cor 8. We can also see the charity fund that St.1-15). a Christian is entitled to carry out the mission of Jesus. St. 449. Paul also speaks about the necessity of Charity in his letters (2 Cor 9.. accessed on 25 October 2011. they selected deacons (Ac 6.com/2011/07/pious-associations. The missionary journey of St. to drive out the demons etc (Mt 10. Pastoral Guide: A Hand Book on the Latin and oriented Codes of Canon law. Jesus formed an association of 12 apostles to proclaim the coming of the kingdom of God.2 2. As the members in their association increased. Therefore.html.D.com/2011/07/pious-associations. 2 Manu. Church started as an association. 1 . In the Acts of the Apostles we see that the whole community of believes were one in heart and mind. 1966).Latin Dictionary (London: Cassell & Complany Ltd. “Pious Associations” (2006).3 ‘Associations’ mean a society.1-15). or a group of people organized for a joint purpose. 1 Thomas Pazhayampallil.1 By the sacrament of Baptism. spiritual. 4 Manu. There are so many pious associations in the Catholic Church which are authorized and accepted as an organization to work for the welfare of the different catholic communities and for the glory of God.1-8). 354. BIBLICAL PART Church was started as a movement in Judaism in the beginning.32-37). religious. Paul and other disciples were to form their associations in different part of the world.1-24).blogspot. 3 Simpson. devotion and charity in their action. ‘Pious Association’ would mean a group of God-fearing people having the various works of piety.blogspot.P.PIOUS ASSOCIATIONS AND PASTORAL CHALLENGES 1. which means devout. 1998).3 (Banglore: KristuJyothi pub. Cassell’s New Latin-English English. available from http://fremmanuel. to heal the sick. God-fearing and exhibiting religious reverence.4 3.

5. devotion and the increase of love of god by special veneration of Blessed Virgin Mary.7 During the Middle Ages many of these pious associations placed themselves under the special protection of the Blessed Virgin and chose her as their patron. accessed on 25 October 2011.com/2011/07/pious-associations. “Pious Associations” (2006).wikipedia. which was called oblations. Manu. DIFFERENT TYPES OF PIOUS ASSOCIATIONS All pious associations or sodalities may be divided into three classes. “Pious Associations.” Divine Shepherd’s Voice 4 (2008). giving it a leading place in the moral type. 7 Wikipedia. provision of funeral expenses. available from http://en. soon ramified over Christendom. presided over by Bishops.4. IN THE EARLY CHURCH During the first three centuries. 237. A vast organization of charity. The main object and duty of these societies were the practice of piety and works of charity. p. and the most distant sections of the Christian Church corresponded by the interchange of mercy. the free encyclopedia. These offerings were expended on the relief of the poor. and of the prisoners for the cause of Christ. and actively directed by the deacons. The second class chiefly founded to S. It was their duty to make diligent search for those who were in affliction or need. MIDDLE AGES The British historian and social writer William Lecky notes that around 1200 AD Christianity for the first time made charity a rudimentary virtue. there was also the collection at the Eucharist. “Sodality” (2007).html.2.Emmanuel. 235-243.blogspot. till the bond of charity became the bond of unity. education of boys and girls and the care of shipwrecked mariners. The first class seeks mainly to attain piety. The Church was the only channel of charity. the Angels and the saints.5 The distribution of these oblations and alms was entrusted to deacons.org/wiki/Sodality_%28Catholic_Church%29. although those classes are not absolutely distinct from one another.1. there were two methods in the Church by which alms were collected for the use of the poor.6 4. the amount was left to the conscience of the giver. Besides this. 6 5 2 . and in the exhortation of its teachers. HISTORICAL PART 4. and report their names to the Bishop. One of these was that a chest was kept in the church and into this every member was expected to put a contribution at least monthly. available from http://fremmanuel.

available from http://fremmanuel. like pious Manu. cares for the sick. clothes the naked. The third class is the well being and improvement of a definite class of persons.K. 8-9. Spiritual Value of Social Charity (Delhi: Global Vision Publishing House. visits the imprisoned. each member of the Church is bound to love of one’s neighbor. 2) Word . 11 Singh. 8 3 . 12 Benedict XVI.promote the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. 2) Promoting public worship. 2005). no. 29-45. Love thus needs to be organized if it is to be an ordered service to the community. The Christian norm of the love for the neighbor is the love of Christ himself for his disciples. 37-38.8 6. in Apostolic Letters: Johm paul II (Trivandrum: Carmel International Publishing House. 3) Promoting Christian doctrine.of God and Sacraments. d) Exercising other works of the apostolate such as evangelization. It is essential for the charitable offices of the church. 11 From the earliest days of the Church.blogspot. 20 (Trivandrum: Carmal International Publishing house. Nos. ed. Charity within the community is also a collective responsibility of the entire church. Communion with Jesus gives rise to the communion of Christians among themselves.12 In fulfillment of the works of mercy outlined by Christ himself. N. 10 John Paul II. Novo Millenio Inuente. the church feeds the hungry. 9 John P.html. 2003). etc. He constructs the edifice of Christian life on three pillars: 1) Contemplation of the face of Christ. Beal. works of piety and works of charity. 402. 2001).. 3) Spirituality of communion. New Commentary on the Code of Canon Law (Bangalore: Theological Publications in India. THEOLOGY OF CHARITY AND PIOUS ASSOCIATIONS Pope John Paul II in his apostolic exhortation ‘Novo Millennio Inuente’ gives us important guidelines for the reorientation of Christian life.. 139-153. Deus Caritas Est.com/2011/07/pious-associations. “Pious Associations” (2006). 1) Fostering a more Christian life. Pope Benedict XVI says that there is no compromise in the image of the church as a community of love. 2006).9 7.10 Contemplation leads to communion and mission. PURPOSE OF PIOUS ASSOCIATIONS The Christian faithful are free to form and direct associations for purposes of charity or piety or for the promotion of the Christian vocation in the world and to hold meetings for the common pursuit of the following purposes.

1. SOME PASTORAL CHALLENGES OF PIOUS ASSOCIATIONS Pious associations are inevitable for the smooth functioning of the parishes. 14 Manu. “Pious Associations” (2006). 9. “Deus Caritas Est: An Overview. p. It reduces the Christian spirituality and brings hostility between the members of the different associations.3. 13 4 . thus canvassing Christian votes or to spy the parish matters to some other parties and turn the believers Pious associations help Christianity to practice and live the true Christian life that Jesus really envisioned Shaji Mundaplackal.13 8. But in certain occasions there arises some tensions between parish priests and pious associations. 9.14 9. IMPORTANCE OF PIOUS ASSOCIATIONS Works of mercy is defined as the love of God expressed through the Godmade-man event in Christ and as man’s love of neighbor.542-543. SELF-CENTERED ACTIVITIES It is the primary duty of the associations to help the parish priest in his pastoral activities and co-operate with the diocese.com/2011/07/pious-associations. Thus the goal of associations fails. Some people are involved in the pious associations in order to get fame and keep their dignity in the society. UNHEALTHY COMPETITIONS BETWEEN ASSOCIATIONS It is very evident in some parishes the unhealthy competitions among associations which had to work together for the goals of Kingdome of God. By involving in the parish life they make the community very lively. POLITICAL GOALS Some of the members in the associations are working in it with some political goals.blogspot. It helps the parish priest for a better pastoral care of the parish. This implies that love to God comes first in our estimation and that in this love the other has its origin and its significance: brotherly affection is founded on piety. 9. Charity is love of men for the sake of God and is stimulated by the love of Christ for man.” Jeevadhara (Malayalam) November (2007).html. available from http://fremmanuel. Some time pious associations act for its own sake or for the selfish interest of their leaders.2. either to get support from parish priest and parishners.associations on different levels to provide resources and trained personnel to address these needs. Some of the challenges are given below.

4. IMBALANCE IN ACTIVITY Some time pious associations may go to the extreme level of prayer only or activities only.5. The pious associations should act closely with the diocese or with the local hierarchy. SOME PASTORAL PRINCIPLES AND SOLUTIONS • • • Pious associations must be suitable for the circumstances and need of the parishes and it is not compulsory to form all pious associations in the parish Without proper necessity new associations shall not be formed and make the existing associations more dynamic and energetic. Without encouraging the young people or parishners. president act as a treasurer) 5 . Avoid compulsory membership in the association and choose those who are interested to work in it whole heartedly. Prayer and work should go balanced. Encourage the people to involve at least one of the associations and discourage membership in different associations. • • • • Parish priest should teach the members of association about the history of association and their rights and duties in the associations. 10. 9. The pastor should be very careful and diligent especially at the time of nomination of the leaders. The priest should be the guiding person and he must lead them both spiritually and temporally with proper freedom and initiative. EGO PROBLEMS The core root of the clashes between associations and parish priests are mainly egoistic. 9. • The parish priest should study about each associations and their aim and activities and then only he can start an association in his parish according its need. the rude behaviour of priests and the wounds that they injects in the hearts of the faithful causes the people to go away from the parish affairs and join in the protestant or Pentecostal churches or some other political parties.into atheistic principles and to destroy the associations. Different offices in one association must not be entrusted to one person alone. ( eg. Action without prayer is futile and prayer without charity is useless. Some time some adamant mentality of priests and their egoistic abnormalities keep away the members of the associations.

Pious associations should spend sufficient time in the prayer. • • • Parish priest must not be partial to any group or associations. In order to avoid the clashes between the associations there should have the annual program chart where every association gets the equal role in the parish activities. or to promote public worship or Christian teaching. associations would be a head ache for him and for the parishners. the information must be passed to every member of the associations. She is interested in social. the equality and dignity. Pious associations. 262-264. All the charitable actions must empower the poor and to keep up the human dignity in the society.15 11. Through these associations. however. There must have proper report book and account book for every association and they must be kept updated. Sufficient freedom must be given to the associations for a better functioning. 1999). We need to work towards nurturing the pious associations. Thomas Book Stall. and political affairs because of the gospel which concern for ethical. The members of associations must be well informed of their programs and plans and if there is any change in their schedule. Ajapalanadharmam [Malayalam] (Vadavathoor: St. CONCLUSION The pious associations in the church must participate in the mission of the church. should have the basic qualities of piety and charity. • Vicar of the parish must be vigilant and vibrant in keeping the associations in his parish very dynamic and enthusiastic.• • • • Arrange orientation programs for the members in the associations. 6 . Christian faithful are strived to foster more perfect life. economical. Always they should work in real love for God and for one another as Christ has loved each one of us. spiritual and religious values. BIBLIOGRAPHY I CHURCH DOCUMENTS 15 Mathew Mankuzhikkary. the church must be aware of the present day threats to the humanity to which she ministers. For the fruitful accomplishment of the mission. If he fails in it.

D. 235-243. Beal. accessed on 25 October 2011. S. III Articles Emmanuel. 1999. 542-543. Trivandrum: Carmal International Publishing house. Pazhayampallil. Singh.wikipedia. 1998.blogspot. P. Cassell’s New Latin-English English.html.” Divine Shepherd’s Voice 4 (2008). London: Cassell & Complany Ltd. II Books Mankuzhikkary.Latin Dictionary. 2005. “Pious Associations. Vol. N. Benedict XVI. Pastoral Guide: A Hand Book on the Latin and oriented Codes of Canon law. Ajapalanadharmam [Malayalam]. 1966. 2003. “Pious Associations” (2006).3. Vadavathoor: St.139-153. Trivandrum: Carmel International Publishing House. available from http://en. the free encyclopedia.K. pp.com/2011/07/pious-associations. Thomas Book Stall.org/wiki/Sodality_%28Catholic_Church%29. Bangalore: Theological Publications in India. Shaji. “Deus Caritas Est: An Overview. 2006.John Paul II. 7 . Spiritual Value of Social Charity.P. Novo Millenio Inuente. 2001. accessed on 25 October 2011.” Jeevadhara (Malayalam) November (2007). ed.. In Apostolic Letters: Johm paul II. Thomas. Banglore: KristuJyothi pub. New Commentary on the Code of Canon Law. Mathew. “Sodality” (2007). Deus Caritas Est. Simpson. Delhi: Global Vision Publishing House. Mundaplackal. available from http://fremmanuel. John. IV Internet Manu. Wikipedia.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful