Skip to content

A Charism of the Word

Interview With the New President of Verbum Dei

GRANADA, Spain, MARCH 4, 2007 (Zenit) - The Church should be seen as a family to which one is proud to belong, says the new president of the Verbum Dei Missionary Fraternity.

Father Antonio Velasco was elected as president of the fraternity at its third general congress. The monthlong congress began Jan. 17, the fraternity's 44th anniversary.

In this interview Father Velasco comments on the future of the missionary fraternity, a new institution of pontifical right for consecrated individuals, approved as such in 2000.

Q: The theme of the congress was "A Charism at the Service of the Word." What importance does the word of God have in the fraternity, and in the life of the Church in general?

Father Velasco: Verbum Dei centers its mission on the living word of God.

With the motto of Jesus' first disciples -- "We shall dedicate ourselves to prayer and ministry of the word" -- our mission consists in living the dynamism of the word of God: to pray the word, assimilating it until it becomes our life, transforming us into it and thus teaching it to others, with the hope that they too will pray, live and teach it existentially to others.

It is a vital dynamism which makes of the Church a home that is always open.

We are aware that the word of God, exactly as it was described by the Synod of Bishops of 1985, is one of the two sources of the Church -- word of God and sacraments.

This is why the word is constituted as soul and engine, norm and spirit for the Church; it is light on her path -- as the psalm says -- light to become a communion of disciples of Jesus in his own mission.

It is the place where God speaks and manifests his will and, at the same time, it is the school of life and love for the disciples and apostles of Jesus, whether they are lay people, consecrated persons or priests.

The news of the next Synod of Bishops, with the theme the "Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church," has been an immense joy for us. We believe it might be a breath of Spirit for the Church, for faith communities, for diocesan entities, for the ecumenical movement, as well as for the joining of forces of all confessions in a mission that frees us from the narrow ways of concentrating on internal problems and endless discussions.

Q: What are your plans as the fraternity's new president?

Father Velasco: What are my plans? I'd like to know them. Instead, I would ask what plans does the Holy Spirit have, as he is really the one who guides this work.

For my part, I believe that the tasks that have arisen from the fraternity's third ordinary congress are a priority to which I wish to respond with all my strength.

In the same way I hope to respond to the functions proper to the figure of the president, exactly as outlined by Father Jaime Bonet, founder of Verbum Dei. In short, to consolidate and guarantee the dimension of communion in diversity of the charism of Verbum Dei -- made up of a branch of celibate women, a branch of celibate men and a branch of consecrated married couples -- to work to make unity and communion of mission and of judgments in the Fraternity.

Q: Verbum Dei's founder was present at the third general congress. Did he give you some advice?

Father Velasco: During the days of the congress, not only to me but to all the participants, he repeated certain basic but extraordinarily vital things in the present time of the Church and of our world.

The first, repeated in his words, but especially by his example, is the call to live an intense spirituality, centered on continual living together with the Trinity and Mary, who dwell in us and make up our first home. From this continuous and affectionate dialogue, a missionary heart is born, on fire with the desire to attract to the love of God the greatest number of people, and without fear of the difficulties proper to the mission.

Finally, he transmitted to us a very great experience of freedom, born from prayer, which leads to seeking always new ways of evangelization without tying us to structures, schemes or our own interests, and enlightened by a hope that goes beyond human effectiveness or apparent results.

Q: Do you think that there is a lack of involvement and commitment on the part of Catholics in the evangelization of the present world?

Father Velasco: In my missionary experience over several parts of the world, I have seen people of every social condition very involved in the proclamation and living of the Gospel.

Some cases have made me kneel down and weep with gratitude and sorrow: I am speaking of Catholics, whom I have known personally, who have even shed their blood out of love for the Kingdom of God.

The picture in our Western world, however, is very confused, and people suffer much from the lifestyle that has been created which is so individualistic and superficial.

People need and want to be involved in evangelization or in the building of a world that is more solidaristic, but often they don't know how, or do not have the strength to break the virtual bubble into which a global consumerist world has gently introduced us.

With some help and support, and when people are introduced into the school of life and love which is the Gospel, people enjoy it and give the best of themselves.

I believe the Church must be forged as a true school of apostles. Only in this way will Catholics be able to give the best of themselves, and this will make them feel more linked to the Church affectively, regarding her as their own family; a family in which we participate actively and of which we can be proud despite its obvious limitations.

Q: In addition to the missionaries, consecrated persons and priests, the fraternity includes missionary married couples. Of what importance is the family from the point of view of evangelization?

Father Velasco: For us, it is vital. Not only because the family is the first evangelizer of children, but because, in addition, it contributes to the living of faith and love of priests and consecrated persons.

I think that we, the consecrated, need the contribution of Christian families to live our consecration and mission fully. The Family of Nazareth is, in fact, the best model of a community of faith.

Contact

Catholic Online
http://www.catholic.org CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000

Email

info@yourcatholicvoice.org

Keywords

Verbum Dei, God, Word, Charism, Velasco

More Catholic PRWire

Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718

A Recession Antidote
Randy Hain

Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

The Why of Jesus' Death: A Pauline Perspective
Jerom Paul

A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell

My Dad
JoMarie Grinkiewicz

Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell

Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Catholic Online

Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Catholic Online

Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
Catholic Online

State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Catholic Online

Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
Catholic Online

2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Catholic Online

Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Catholic Online

Franchising to Evangelize
Catholic Online

Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Catholic Online

Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Catholic Online

Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Catholic Online

Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Catholic Online

Full Circle
Robert Gieb

Three words to a deeper faith
Paul Sposite

Relections for Lent 2009
chris anthony

Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell

World Food Program Director on Lent
Catholic Online

Moral Clarity
DAN SHEA

Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Catholic Online

A Prayer for Monaco: Remembering the Faith Legacy of Prince Rainier III & Princess Grace and Contemplating the Moral Challenges of Prince Albert II
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe

Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Sally Connolly

Glimpse of Me
Sarah Reinhard

The 3 stages of life
Michele Szekely

Sex and the Married Woman
Cheryl Dickow

A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Cheryl Dickow

Modernity & Morality
Dan Shea

Just a Minute
Sarah Reinhard

Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Hugh McNichol

Edging God Out
Paul Sposite

Burying a St. Joseph Statue
Cheryl Dickow

George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Catholic Online

Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell

Action Changes Things: Teaching our Kids about Community Service
Lisa Hendey

Easter... A Way of Life
Paul Spoisite

Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Hugh McNichol

Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Hugh McNichol

Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Catholic Online

Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Catholic Online

Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Catholic Online

Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Catholic Online

Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Catholic Online

Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
Catholic Online

Holy Saturday...anticipation!
Hugh McNichol

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.