Press release
V ORDINARY ASSEMBLY - Rome, 27 April – 4 May 2008
FOR THE LIFE OF THE WORLD (Jn 6,51) - Lay People in Catholic Action 20 years after Christifideles Laici

IFCA held its V Ordinary Assembly in Rome between the 27th April and the 4th May on the theme “For the life of the world (Jn 6,51). Lay Catholic Action members – 20 years from Christifideles Laici”.
The meeting started on the 27th April in the afternoon with an opening prayer presided over by Mgr. Domenico Sigalini and with a welcoming address by Paola Bignardi. The 120 participants came from around forty countries in Europe, America, Africa and Asia. The Statutory Session lasted from the 27th to the 30th of April. This session was concluded on the 30th with a Public Celebration commemorating 20 years of Christifideles Laici. (Guzman Carriquiry, Luigi Alici, Beatriz Buzzetti Thomson, Oana Tuduce).
From the 1st to the 3rd May, working sessions followed. The working groups discussed Youth Coordination and Continental initiatives with particular attention to the Holy Land. The different countries had an opportunity to give a presentation about their activities and to speak about their concerns and plans.
On the 3rd May, the participants had a Pauline Pilgrimage to the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls where a Eucharistic Celebration, presided over by Mgr. Servilien Nkawauzita of Rwanda, was held. They also visited Tre Fontane, the place where St. Paul was beheaded.
On the 1st May, the IFCA Assembly participants were invited to the opening session of the XIII National Assembly of the Italian Catholic Action. On the 3rd May, they joined the Italian Catholic Action members for the Prayer Vigil and on the 4th May for the grand meeting with the Holy Father Benedict XVI.

The Assembly opened with reflections about “Where is the world going” by Father Federico Lombardi SJ – director of the Vatican Press Office, Sandro Calvani – UNO representative in Italy and Mother Amelia Kawaji – UISG President. These were followed by a biblical presentation (Romano Penna) and a theological presentation (Juvenal Ilunga Muya). Tullio Citrini spoke about lay people’s responsibility in the evangelization and inculturation of faith giving examples of lay people, members of the first Christian communities, who were the collaborators of Paul the Apostle. In all these examples he stressed the missionary dimension (Lourdes Azorín Ortega).
The Assembly is always a splendid opportunity for IFCA representatives of member and observer countries to rediscover CA’s identity (Paola Bignardi) and to get to know one another and exchange experiences.
A presentation about the Normative Document and some possible implementation amendments (Giuseppe Gervasio). was given on the 30th April. The new Secretariat was elected. The five countries on the Secretariat are: Argentina, Burundi, Italy, Myanmar-Birmania and Poland.

The Eucharistic Celebrations were presided over as follows: 27th April - Card Rylko, 28th April - Mgr. Lambiasi, IFCA’s ex-ecclesiastical Assistant , 29th April Card. Sandri and 30th April Card. De Giorgi, President of the recently constituted “Pius XI Catholic Action School of Sanctity Foundation” and 2nd May - Mgr. Robert Sarah, Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
Recently, the President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity nominated Mgr. Domenico Segalini, General Assistant for the Italian Catholic Action, as IFCA’s Ecclesiastical Assistant.

The message by the Holy Father was received with great joy by the ICA Assembly participants as well as by IFCA’s representatives:
“Dear children, young people and adults, members of Catholic Action! It is a great pleasure for me to welcome you here today, in Saint Peter’s Square, where, many times in the past, your esteemed Association has met Peter’s successor. I thank you for your visit. I warmly greet each one of you coming from all parts of Italy, as well as the members of the International Forum coming from forty different countries”

Link to the speech