Decree on the Apostolate of Lay People. By Deacon Ed Sheffer. Apostolicam Actousitatem ultimately states that the laity needs to play a more active role in the. Explains the role of the laity in the Church such that, “Charity, which is, as it were, the The Council will explain in this Decree the nature of the lay apostolate. The Decree on Ecumenism was rooted in the Ecumenical The Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity reflected the development of the lay.

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They should also take care to provide for these lay people the necessary formation, spiritual consolation, and incentive. Entrusted with charges more closely associated with the duties of pastors in teaching, liturgical action, care of souls and administration of church affairs.

At the present time, with the development of more rapid facilities for communication, with the barrier of distance separating men greatly reduced, with the inhabitants of the entire globe becoming one great family, these charitable activities and works have become more urgent and universal. This should be done by the laity in communion with their brothers in Christ, especially with their pastors who must make a judgment about the true nature and proper use of these gifts not to extinguish the Spirit but to test all apostolqte and hold for what is good cf.

While decrde exercise of the apostolate should be motivated by charity, some works by their very nature can become specially vivid expressions of this charity.

This has led to the corruption of morals and human institutions and not rarely to contempt for the human person himself. Chapter 1 Article 2: For this there is need for mutual esteem among all the forms of the apostolate in the Church and, with due respect for the particular character of each organization, proper coordination.

Various types of the apostolate demand also a specially suitable formation. In fact, only the pooling of resources is capable of fully achieving all the aims of the modern apostolate and firmly protecting its interests. Impelled by divine charity, they do good apsotolate all men, especially to those of the household of the faith cf.

Those, however, which the hierarchy have praised or recommended as responsive to the needs of time and place, or have ordered to be established as particularly urgent, must be held in highest esteem by priests, Religious, and laity and promoted according to each one’s ability.

The group apostolate is very important also because the apostolate must often be performed by appstolate of common activity both the Church communities and the various spheres. No less necessary is cooperation among various projects of the apostolate which must be suitably directed by the hierarchy. To intensify the apostolic activity of the people of God, 1 the most holy synod earnestly addresses itself to the laity, whose proper and indispensable role in the mission of the Church has already been dealt with in other documents.


Major documents of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council originated as grass roots movements that were brought to fruition by the Council.

Apostolicam actuositatem

Among the fruits of the Council reflecting the full participation of laity in the life of the church are: No part of the structure of a living body is merely passive but has a share in the functions as well as life of the body: By virtue of this mission, the laity are fully subject to higher ecclesiastical control in the performance of this work. Two types of lay movements emerged, official and quasi-official organizations; and those with no official connection to the church.

In this tje they may make Christ qpostolate to others, especially by the testimony of a life resplendent in faith, hope and charity.

Furthermore, in collaborating as citizens of this world, in whatever pertains to the upbuilding and conducting of the temporal order, the laity must seek in the light of faith loftier motives of action in their family, professional, cultural, and social life and make them known to others when the occasion arises.

The purpose of this document was to encourage and guide lay people in their Christian service. The most holy council earnestly recommends these associations, which surely answer the needs of the apostolate of the Church among many peoples and countries, and invites the clergy and laity working in them to develop the apostolaate characteristics to an ever greater degree and to cooperate at decrer times with all other forms of the apostolate in a fraternal manner in the Church.

It is here that they complement the testimony of life with the testimony lairy the word. Indeed, by the precept of charity, which is the Lord’s greatest commandment, all the faithful are impelled to promote the glory of God through the coming of His kingdom and to fo eternal life for all men-that they may know the only true God and Him whom He sent, Jesus Christ cf.

Assuming human nature, He bound the whole human race to Himself as a family through a certain supernatural solidarity and established charity as the mark of His disciples, saying, “By this will all men know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” John The perfect example of this type of spiritual and apostolic life is the most Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Apostles, who while leading the life common to all here on earth, one filled with family concerns and labors, was always intimately united with her Son and in an entirely unique way cooperated in the work of the Savior.

After a lively debate, the draft was returned for revision and the final draft which called for a rightfully expanded role for lay men and women was accepted by the Council Fathers by a vote of for and 2 against. Adults ought to engage in such friendly discussion with young people that both age groups, overcoming the age barrier, may become better acquainted and share the special benefits each generation can offer the other.


Apostolicam Actuositatem follows upon Lumen gentiumthe “Dogmatic Constitution on the Church”, of 21 Novemberwhich in Chapter IV, discusses the laity, by which they mean all the faithful except those in Holy Orders or religious institutes.

Retrieved 18 May Pastors must clearly state the principles concerning the purpose of creation and the use of temporal things and must offer the moral and spiritual aids by which the temporal order may be renewed in Christ.

Indeed, everyone should diligently prepare himself for the apostolate, this preparation being the more urgent in adulthood. The sacraments, however, especially the most holy Eucharist, communicate and nourish that charity which is the soul of the entire apostolate. Teachers and educators on the other hand, who carry on a distinguished form of the apostolate of the laity by their vocation and office, should be equipped with that learning and pedagogical skill that are needed for imparting such education effectively.

Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity

Regardless of status, all lay persons including those who have no opportunity pn possibility for collaboration in associations are called to apostolaet type of apostolate and obliged to engage in it. Christ the Lord wanted these works to be signs of His messianic mission cf.

All ddecree should be regarded apostolte norms when the canon law, as it pertains to the lay apostolate, is revised. They should also hold in high esteem professional skill, family and civic spirit, and the virtues relating to social customs, namely, honesty, justice, sincerity, kindness, and courage, without which no true Christian life can exist.

The quasi-common heritage of the Gospel and the common duty of Christian witness resulting from it recommend and frequently require the cooperation of Catholics with other Christians, on the part of individuals and communities within the Church, either in activities or in associations, in the national or international field. These factors have also occasioned new problems which demand their expert attention and study. In this way the lay person engages himself wholly and actively in the reality of the temporal order and effectively assumes his role in conducting the affairs of this order.

Declaration on Christian Education, nos. Certain forms of the apostolate of the laity are given explicit recognition by the kaity, though in various apsotolate. This type of apostolate is useful at all times and places, but in certain circumstances it is the only one appropriate and feasible. The apostolate of the Church and of all its members is primarily designed to manifest Christ’s message by words and deeds and to communicate His grace to the world.

For there are many persons who can hear the Gospel and recognize Christ only through the laity who live near them.