The urgent need for the Church to bring Christ into the heart of the world of work — Workers’ News

On November 18, 2024, we will celebrate the XXX anniversary of the approval by the LXII Plenary Assembly of the EEC of the document The Pastoral Worker of the Whole Churchpopularly known among all of us as POTI.

This anniversary becomes an opportunity for our Movement of Labour Brotherhoods to propose a renewed reflection on how this document has affected our own ecclesial reality, and what challenges posed then remain valid and pressing today.

We note that, while it is true that the reality of the world of work today is notably different from the reality of the nineties of the last century, it is also true that we are faced with similar challenges and that our apostolic and social commitment obliges us to continue working tirelessly. For this reason, we at the Brotherhoods of Work are convinced of the need to turn our gaze once again to this document, in order, if necessary, to regain the direction that we often lose in order to face the urgency of the imminent.

If we had to summarize the two lines of action to which this document referred us, we could summarize it as follows:

1.- The evangelization of the working world must be assumed by the entire Church as its own work.

2.- Within the new evangelization, the pastoral care of work must be considered a specific pastoral care, requiring an adequate methodology and its own tasks.

In order to carry out these lines of action, our bishops urged us to live as an urgent and priority the formation of Christian militant workers who are coherent witnesses of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in their work environments, encouraging the accompaniment of these militants, being especially concerned about their formation in the social doctrine of the Church, as well as the cultivation of their spiritual life, strengthening their life of personal prayer, and taking care of the community celebration of the Eucharist, helping them in this way to discover the liberating passage of the Lord through their lives. Only those who have had real experience in their lives of this liberation can be credible witnesses in their work environments.

If we are honest with ourselves, we have to recognize that we are still far from having achieved these stated objectives. For years we have been involved in numerous social actions that have yielded abundant fruits, but we have neglected both our formation and our spiritual and community life. Many times we feel that we have been absorbed by activism. And now, we discover the need to recover the reason for our Christian activism. We believe that it is time to return to the sources, to immerse ourselves in the Social Doctrine of the Church, to deepen the value of spiritual, sacramental and community life, and to rediscover the new horizons to which we are sent as apostles.

In order to carry out these proposals, it would be appropriate to recall at least the first point of the Decalogue of the militant of the Brotherhoods of Work, which states: “A requirement of my faith is the personal encounter with Christ in sacramental life, in prayer and in communion with other men.” If we think about it carefully, we will discover that this was precisely the starting point of our movement. A group of men and women, in love with Jesus Christ and led by Don Abundio, who were led by the fire of the Spirit to bring Christ to the world of work.

In conclusion, we could end by saying that after thirty years of the promulgation of this document, it still maintains its relevance intact; it is like a loudspeaker that continues to remind us of the urgency of raising awareness throughout the Church of its task of bringing Christ to the heart of the world of work. Accompanying the laity in their task of being a light in the midst of their work environments, generating Christians who live this apostolate in a militant and prophetic way, always taking care of their formation and their spiritual and community life and generating social works that become a cry that announces the arrival of the Kingdom of God.

There is work to be done. The horizon is exciting. We have the value of the experience of those who have preceded us in this task. That is why, with the prophet, we could end by saying: “Something new is sprouting, don’t you notice it?”

National Co-President of the Brotherhoods of Labour (HHT)

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