Metropolitan Archbishop of Catanzaro – Squillace

(Catanzaro: Politeama Theatre -25 September 2008)



Most Reverend Excellency Monsignor Antonio Ciliberti, Civil and Military Authorities, Adherents to the Apostolic Movement, gathered here in my name and of the Inspirer and Founder of the Apostolic Movement, I extend the most cordial welcome. “In hope we were saved”: this is the message of truth that gives the title to our Ecclesial Convention III. According to the Council Decree Apostolicam Actuositatem, the Conventions belong to the order of the aids, both for the spiritual growth of God’s children, and for their greater preparation for the performance of the personal ministry. This is the spirit that animated the Apostolic Movement to organize the three editions of the Annual conventions, which since 2006 have produced up to now good fruits of evangelical witness in the different ecclesial realities in which the Movement operates.

Excellency, a particularly felt thanks to you, not only your valuable interventions at our Conventions and the most significant moments of the life of the Movement, but especially for the esteem and affection that you as Shepherd never made us miss. During these years of you Episcopal ministry in the Archdiocese of Catanzaro-Squillace, we are increasingly experiencing and appreciating your paternity and pastoral care, your closeness and your benevolence. Today, as an attentive father you come to visit the children that the Lord Jesus has entrusted you, confirming them in the truth and encouraging them in love. For the pastoral year 2008/2009 which is about to start you made us the gift a Pastoral Letter, that takes our mind of believers back to the heart of the very essence of God: Deus Caritas Est. Charity a privileged instrument of evangelization. From it we infer a foreseeing, all-encompassing and faithful love of God concerning man; an offered love that, since the days of creation, became proximity, intimacy, and communion. This unconditional love of God demands an answer: man is the only creature able to stand before Him and to enter into a relationship with Him, since he was made in his image and likeness. The Apostolic Movement, in this dynamism of love, wants to answer with the vitality of its charisma and with the works of fraternal charity, in order to be a privileged and effective instrument of evangelization.

In recent years, the grace of God and the blessing of His Mother have made more abundant fruit mature in the Movement to the benefit of the whole Church of Christ: the Secular Institute “Mary Mother of the Redemption,” the birth of the Movement in some states of the great African continent, as well as in Switzerland and Germany, the continuous growth of the vocations to the Ordained priesthood and of Consecrated lay women, the conversion of so many young people, the Centre for Studies Verbum. All this thanks to the self-sacrificing and obedient love of the Inspirer and Founder, Mrs. Maria Marino, who lives in perfect communion with God’s will and in unison with his Holy Spirit. From this life immersed in God arise for us enthusiasm and strength to continue the mission entrusted us by Christ Jesus.

Excellency in conjunction with you, with the celebration of this III Convention, we are looking forward to the great ecclesial event to be held in the Vatican 5 to 26 next October, when the XII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will meet to discuss the theme: “the Word of God in the life and mission of the Church.” From this event we confidently expect the pastoral-theological lines that the Pontifical Magisterium will present to the whole ecclesial community.
We entrust You, Excellency, and all the movement to the love of the Virgin Mary, Mother of the Redemption; may you be the one to lead us toward Her Son Jesus, in truth and charity.

Catanzaro, September 25, 2008

Cettina Marraffa
President of the Apostolic Movement