Metropolitan Archbishop of Cosenza-Bisignano
(Catanzaro: Politeama Theatre -26 September 2008)



Your Excellency, on behalf of myself, of the Inspirer and Founder and of all the Apostolic Movement I give you a warm welcome. Thank you for having accepted the invitation to be present at our Ecclesial Convention III entitled: “In hope we were saved” (Spe Salvi 1); and to offer us you authoritative intervention in this second day so full of meaning.
The day of your election as Metropolitan Archbishop of Cosenza-Bisignano, making yours a famous expression of S. Augustine, you expressed to your brothers the desire to be “Bishop for them and brother with them.” That is how today we welcome you, for great is the faith of the Apostolic Movement towards the Order of Bishops and considerable the commitment of communion with for the edification of the kingdom of God among men.
In a few days the XII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will start; it will be held at the Vatican October 5 to 26, on the theme: “The Word of God in the life and mission of the Church”, a topic chosen personally by His Holiness Benedict XVI and widely accepted by the episcopate and the people of God. We are grateful to the Lord for choosing this theme, since it brings us back to the heart of the vocation and mission of the Movement, that for thirty-one years has been reminding and announcing the Word of Jesus with zeal and love.

The Apostolic Movement, founded in Catanzaro November 3, 1979, through the Inspirer and Founder, Mrs. Maria Marino, who our thanks goes for her constant and unconditional “yes” to the Lord; is a great family that believes and lives the ecclesial communion. Communion with God in the truth, which is expressed through the obedience to his Word; communion with the brothers in charity, which it lives daily in the sign of the service according to its particular charisma. In our hearts the desire to be guided by the Word of God and moved by the power of the Spirit burn, in order to make our own the sentiments of Christ Jesus and flee, “relativism in thought and practice and the consequent loss of the sense of sin, the distrust to everything, the final eclipse of values and the closure in the private,” as you wrote in your Pastoral Letter for Lent 2007, entitled: “A return to the roots”. Even in the Archdiocese of Cosenza-Bisignano, of which you are the Shepherd, the Movement has been operating for many years, with perseverance and punctuality, offering its ecclesial service in the various fields of the pastoral action, especially the one of catechism. As you said in the homily the last inauguration of the catechetical meetings: “The catechesis that the Apostolic Movement continues in our diocesan Church is particularly appropriate…. it is a gift even for our pastoral plan … thanks to the priests and lay people who live this wonderful experience.”

Today, around you, Excellency, we continue to recognize ourselves children of the only Father, brothers in Christ Jesus and instruments of the Holy Spirit for the comfort of the hearts of many. With these feelings, with faith and devotion we will listen to your teaching.
We invoke upon you, Excellence, and the whole world the blessing of the Virgin Mary, Mother of the Redemption. May Lord Jesus be Your truth, Your strength, Your comfort. The Angels and Saints Your friends intercessors before the celestial Piety. May Heaven guard us in unity and peace.

Catanzaro, September 26, 2008

Cettina Marraffa
President of the Apostolic Movement