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Milestones in the Lay Apostolate PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Monday, 18 February 2008 14:28
A couple of milestones of the lay apostolate:

1) Eduardo Bonnin, one of the lay founders of the Cursillo movement, died early this month. He was 90 years old and part of the movement since he was 26. In the 64 years since Eduardo attended the first Cursillo, this powerful evangelization tool has spread all over the world. It is estimated that 45 million people within and outside Catholicism, have attended a three day Cursillo.

2) The St. Vincent de Paul Society will be celebrating it's 175th anniversary in April. It was in 1833 that 7 college students at the University of Parish, decided to go personally to the poor and meet their needs. One of those students was 20 year old Frederic Ozanam. They were responding to this challenge: "One day, a student, praising the scepticism of Lord Byron, objected: "Christianity has done wonders in the past; but now it is dead! You, who boast of being Catholics, what do you do? What are your activities, activities which prove your faith and which might persuade us to adapt it?.”

This small group of students meet at 38 Rue de Saint Sulpice on 23 April 1833, the Feast of Saint George, at eight o'clock in the evening, (The parish of St. Sulpice in Paris has been a center of pastoral and apostolic innovation for centuries).

The movement spread like wildfire and had already reached the US by 1845. Today, there are nearly a million members of the Society of Saint-Vincent de Paul present and active in 132 countries in the 5 continents. Two thirds of the Conferences to be in developing countries. This month, the Saint Vincent de Paul Society was nominated for the Nobel Prize.

One point, at least, is obvious. Despise not the day of small things. All great things, almost all vocations start small - often because one man or woman senses "Jesus wants something done about this" takes the first, next, obvious, small, practical step. The step they can take right now.

And never underestimate what God will do through your small obedience or the cumulative power of a long obedience in the same direction.

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