Neocatechumenal Way +Search for Videos

The '''Neocatechumenal Way''', also known as the '''Neocatechumenate''', '''NCW''' or, colloquially, '''The Way''', is an organisation within the Catholic Church+ dedicated to the Christian formation of adults. It was formed in Madrid+ in 1964 by Kiko Argüello+ and Carmen Hernández+ and received approval from the Holy See+ in 2008.

Taking its inspiration from the catechumenate+ of the early Catholic Church, by which converts+ from paganism+ were prepared for baptism+, it provides post-baptismal formation to adults who are already members of the Church. It also runs 100 seminaries in various locations, and is responsible for hundreds of "families in mission+," living in many cities around the World.

The Neocatechumenate is implemented in small, parish+-based communities of between 20-50 people. In 2007 there were around 40,000 such communities throughout the World, with an estimated million members.

The Neocatechumenal Way arose in 1964 through the work of Francisco "Kiko" Argüello+ and Carmen Hernández+ to evangelize the slums of Madrid+. As time passed, their message was embodied in a catechetical synthesis, founded on what they called the "tripod+" ("Word of God+-Liturgy+-Community+"), seeking to lead people to fraternal communion+ and mature faith+.

This "new catechetical+ experience", born in the wake of the Second Vatican Council+, attracted the interest of Madrid's Archbishop, :es:Casimiro Morcillo+, who encouraged Argüello to spread it to parishes that asked for it. The Way thus spread gradually through the Archdiocese of Madrid+ and to other Spanish dioceses+.

In 1968, Argüello and Hernández arrived in Rome+ and settled in the Borghetto Latino. With the permission of Angelo Dell'Acqua+, Vicar-General+ of Rome+, the first catechesis+ began in the parish+ of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament and the Canadian Martyrs+.

Since then, the Way has continued to spread to diocese+s and mission+ countries around the world.

The community of Neocatechumens+ is currently led by the "International Responsible Team of the Way": Argüello, Hernández, and Fr. Mario Pezzi, a priest of the Diocese of Rome+. Under the terms of the 2007 statute, the three members of this leadership team will remain in place for life, after which an electoral college of senior neocatechumenal catechists will elect a new team which, with the approval of the Pontifical Council for the Laity+, will have a mandate to lead the Way for a period of seven years until new elections are held.

Leadership at national and regional levels rests in approximately seven hundred teams of "itinerant catechists," comprising a priest+ and two or three lay+ men and women, appointed and supervised by the International Responsible Team. Depending on the number of communities in a particular area, a team of Itinerant Catechists may be responsible for the implementation of the NC Way in a country, a group of countries or a region of a country. Pope+ John Paul II+ summarized the role of the itinerant catechists in December 1985:
"They contribute by forming the first neocatechumenal communities of a parish, and are supposed to maintain regular contact with the Bishops of the diocese in which they work; the itinerant teams preserve a constant link with the responsibles of the Neocatechumenal Way, visiting periodically the communities they catechized and taking care of the development of the Neocatechumenal Way in the territory assigned to them, being fully faithful to the charism+ given to the initiators and obedient to the local Ordinary+."


The itinerant catechists do not make any formal commitment to their missionary role, and are free to resign at any time.

In June 2008 the Statutes of the Neocatechumenal Way received final approval from the Vatican.

The Way describes itself as a community—it resists terms such as organization or movement since it is the Church's only approved Post-Baptismal Catechumenate—“at the service of the Bishop+s as a form of diocesan implementation of Christian initiation and of ongoing education in faith, in accordance with the indications of the Second Vatican Council and the Magisterium+ of the Church”. It provides an ongoing education in faith and a service of catechesis. From the initial catechesis, it typically takes several years and passing through stages of faith formation in the local communities, until a member reaches the renewal of the baptismal vows (or the baptism).

It is implemented in dioceses under the jurisdiction the bishop and the guidance of the Responsible Team of the Way “according to the lines proposed by its initiators”.

Responding to secularization+ the Way introduced a program called "families in mission+": Families serving to establish the presence of the Catholic Church in countries where there is none (this is referred as ''Implantatio Ecclesiae'') or to strengthen the presence of Catholic communities in particularly difficult areas.

On January 12, 2006, about 200 families met with Pope Benedict XVI+ asking for a missionary mandate before beginning their mission to France+, Belgium+, Germany+ and China+—bringing the number Families in Mission to more than five-hundred.

In March 2008 the Way met with nine cardinals+ and 160 European bishops+ at the Domus Galilaeae International Center+ on the Mount of Beatitudes+ in Galilee+. Christoph Cardinal Schönborn+ said that during "the last 40 years Europe has said ‘no’ to its future three times: in 1968 when it rejected 'Humanae Vitae+'; then, 20 years later, with the legalization of abortion+; and today with homosexual marriage+s." He called the Neocatechumenal Way an "answer of the Holy Spirit+ to this situation." A joint declaration from the bishops said "[h]ere we have an important proposal, the proposal of the Neocatechumenal Way, which is to renew the life of the family."

On January 10, 2009, Benedict XVI met with over 10,000 people for a celebration marking the 40th anniversary of the Neocatechumenal Way in Rome. From this celebration several whole communities were sent on mission, along with itinerant catechists, mission families, and the ''Missio Ad Gentes'' (a newer form of mission that sends three to five families to a particular area at the request of the bishop).

Approximately every two years, the World Youth Day+ has been organized by the Roman Catholic Church, during which the Pope summons youths from all over the world to a chosen city. The Way has been an active supporter of these, rallying its young members to attend. For instance, during World Youth Day 2008+ held in Sydney+, George Cardinal Pell+ said that of the 110,000 international visitors that attended, 40,000 were from the Neocatechumenal Way, and some 300,000 attended Madrid World Youth Day.

During the event, young members of the Neocatechumenal Way meet with Argüello for a "vocational call." In Sydney+, for example, approximately 1,500 men answered the call for the priesthood and 850 young women stood up to show their willingness to a consecrated life, and in Bonn+ (2005) around 1,500 young men and another 900 young women answered the call. These young men and women begin a process of discernment+ in their own dioceses and communities, which may lead to priesthood+ (most of the priestly vocations go to a "Redemptoris Mater" seminary) or consecrated life+.

During the Neocatechumenal Way vocational meeting held near the Sea of Galilee following Pope Benedict XVI+'s visit to the Holy Land+ in May 2009, Arguello described the Way's situation in the Holy Land, claiming thirty communities that follow several different Christian rites, and holding them up as an example of the ecumenical breakthrough. There are seven communities following the Latin Rite+, in Jaffa+, Tel Aviv+, Jerusalem+, Nazareth+, Bethlehem+ and Cana+. In March 2000, the Way opened its Domus Galilaeae+ formation center on the slopes of the Mount of Beatitudes+ in Israel. The facility is used for studies and retreat, Christian seminars and conventions.

In June 2007, Archbishop+ Elias Chacour+ proposed the establishment of a new "branch" of the Neocatechumenal Way "to work specifically in the Eastern-rite Church." Archbp. Chacour stated in his message that he has searched for ''"someone or some community to preach the Good News to my parishioners"'' as an answer to proselytism+ of the sects, and that the Neocatechumenal Way is an answer. A spokesman for the Way reported the letter to ZENIT+, saying that ''"We share the sense of urgency expressed by Archbishop Chacour to evangelize 'the living stones' in the land of the Lord."''

The Greek Catholic+ (Melchite) rite runs a Redemptoris Mater Seminary+ within Domus Galilaeae, and has 12 neocatechumenal communities in several Palestinian villages: three each in Shefamer+, Tarshiha+ and Melia+, two in Ibilin+ and one in Cana+. Additionally, there are two Maronite+ communities in Gish and Haifa, as well as two Hebrew-speaking communities in Haifa and Tel Aviv.


The Way also operates several seminaries dubbed ''Redemptoris Mater'' seminaries+ which combines the priestly formation found in a seminary+ with the Christian formation received in a neocatechumenal community. Potential candidates often undergo a time of "Pre-Vocational Formation" before entering the seminary, which operates somewhat in the manner of a pre-med+ course, designed to prepare and awaken their vocations.

The intent was to establish a seminary that was both ''international'', i.e. with vocations coming from different nations, and ''missionary'', i.e. upon ordination, the priests are available to go wherever their ordinary sends them,(cfr. chapter 10 of ) In 1988, the first Redemptoris Mater+ Seminary was established in Rome by Ugo Cardinal Poletti+, and today there are Redemptoris Mater Seminaries all over the world in places such as Managua (Nicaragua), Rome (Italy), Kearny (NJ, USA), Madrid (Spain), Berlin (Germany), Guam, Sarajevo+ (Bosnia and Hercegovina+), Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic), Manila (Philippines) and Warsaw+ (Poland+).

In 1997, Pope+ John Paul II+ "encouraged [Argüello and Hernández] to examine their thirty-year experience of the Way, and to formalize it with a written statute," and Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger+ urged the drafting of the Statutes as "a very important step that will open the way to the formal juridical recognition by the Church, and giving you a further guarantee of the authenticity of your charism" The Statutes drafted in response were approved ''ad experimentum'' for five years in 2002, and on June 13, 2008, after review by five dicasteries+ and the Pontifical Council for the Laity+, Stanislaw Cardinal Rylko+ published a decree containing the definitive approval of the statutes of the Neocatechumenal Way.Multiple sources report this
, and

The ''Statutes'' describe the nature of the Way and regulate its charism and specific tasks within the Church. Through them the Neocatechumenal Way was endowed with "public juridical personality" status. The Way is thus closely governed by an ecclesiastical authority, performs entrusted functions "in the name of the church," and that it has no material goods of its own.

Inter alia, in article 13, the Statutes stated that the Masses of the communities must be "open also to other faithful"; that communion must be received "standing"; that for the biblical readings, only "brief [ad]monitions" of introduction are permitted, apart from the homily".

The Statutes refer to a ''Catechetical Directory'', which received Vatican approval at the end of 2010.

This originated with thirteen volumes of materials published by Argüello in 1972, based on his and Hernández's preaching, and titled the ''Orientations for the Teams of Catechists''. The ''Orientations'' were held in secret until 1997 when Cardinal Ratzinger ordered that they be handed over to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith+ for a doctrinal examination. The examination lasted until 2003, during which the Congregation made minor corrections and added citations of about 2,000 references to parallel passages in the Catechism of the Catholic Church+.

After thorough examination by various Vatican dicasteries, on December 26, 2010 the Pontifical Council for the Laity approved the text of the catecheses which are handed on to neo-catechumen+s during their itinerary. Pope Benedict XVI+ praised the approval: "With these ecclesiastical seals, the Lord confirms today and entrusts to you again this precious instrument that is the Way, so that you can, in filial obedience to the Holy See and to the pastors of the Church, contribute, with new impetus and ardor, to the radical and joyful rediscovery of the gift of baptism and to offer your original contribution to the cause of the New Evangelization.".

The Way regards liturgy+ as one of its three fundamental elements (''tripod''), along with the Word of God (scripture) and Christian community. The Paschal Mystery, celebrated in the ''Sacred Triduum'', is seen as a liturgical axis and source of Christian life and a fulcrum of the Neocatechumenate which leads to "rediscovery" of Christian initiation. After the Easter liturgical celebrations, the most important place is given to the Eucharist, which completes Christian initiation and builds a small community in which catechumens follow their "itinerary."

Four features of the Masses of the communities have been observed.

* They are celebrated in small groups, corresponding to the different stages of the "catechetical journey".

* The surroundings and furnishings form the image of a banquet - a rectangular table with the participants seated around it

* Each of the biblical readings of the Mass is preceded by an "admonition" by a member of the community. After the Gospel "echoes" may be shared by a brother or sister in which they say how they see the readings applied to him or herself . The priest's homily follows, being clearly distinguished from the echoes and intended as preaching and instruction.

* Communion also takes place in banquet form. The consecrated bread, a large unleavened loaf, is broken and distributed to those present, who remain in their places. The priest then goes from one person to the next with the chalice of consecrated wine, of which everyone drinks.

The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments+ has observed the Way's liturgical practices from the beginning. Pope John Paul II celebrated the Eucharist at the meeting with the communities in Porto San Giorgio+ in 1989, exactly as the communities do it, including the communion rite in a sitting position.[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6b2SfCuSu6Y]

Cardinal+ Francis Arinze+, however, the Prefect of the Congregation from 2002 until 2008, was unwilling to accept the differences in the liturgy of the neocatechumenal Eucharist. In December 2005, he wrote a private letter to Arguello, Hernández and Pezzi on behalf of Pope Benedict. He warned that "[i]n the celebration of the Holy Mass, the Neocatechumenal Way shall accept and follow the liturgical books approved by the Church, without omitting or adding anything." The letter directed members of the Way to adopt the prescribed method of receiving Holy Communion, to participate in parish life, and to celebrate Mass with the rest of the parish community on at least one Sunday each month.

The Way argues that Arinze's letter has been superseded by the Final Statute of the Neocatechumenal Way insofar as it says that “the celebrations of the Eucharist of the neocatechumenal communities on Saturday evening are part of the Sunday liturgical pastoral work of the parish and are open also to other faithful.” The Way argues that this means that by participating in the Saturday evening Eucharistic celebration with their communities, members of the Neocatechumenal Way are already partaking in the Holy Mass of the parish community. In his ''Canonical Observations on the Definitive Approval of the Statutes of the Neocatechumenal Way'', Msgr. Juan Arrieta, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts+, summarizes the liturgical concessions of the Neocatechumenal Way as follows:

:“First, that the neocatechumens celebrate the Eucharist in the small community, after the First Vespers of Sunday. Second, that this celebration, after First Vespers takes place according to the disposition of the diocesan bishop. Third, that these celebrations [...] are part of the pastoral work and consequently are open to all the faithful. Fourth, that in these celebrations the liturgical books approved by the Roman Rite are followed, 'with the exception of the explicit concessions from the Holy See' (always with unleavened bread), moving the rite of peace before the consecration, communion under both species, brief admonitions and echoes and, finally, a new way for the distribution of Communion: 'Regarding the distribution of Holy Communion under the two species, the neocatechumens receive standing, remaining at their place.' The faithful receive the precious body while standing, take seat and wait until all have received. Then the celebrant says 'Body of Christ, bring us everlasting life!' and the whole congregation consumes immediately after the priest consumes the host. The ''ecce Agnus Dei'' along with the ''Domine non sum dignus'' are typically re

The Statutes also mention the sacrament of Penance celebrated according to the rite of reconciliation for multiple penitents, with individual confession+ and absolution+.

multiple issues|section=yes|



The Neocatechumenal Way has encountered resistance and criticism from both clergy and theologians. After the Neocatechumenate was introduced into the parish of St Germain-des-Prés+ in Paris, for example, the Archbishop of Paris+, François Cardinal Marty+, blocked any further expansion before his retirement in 1981, and similar controversy in 1992 prompted the Bishop of Nancy+ to transfer the neocatechumens+ to a different church.

The orthodoxy of the Way's teachings and the validity of its liturgical practices has also drawn criticism. In 1995, the Italian Passionist+ priest and theologian Enrico Zoffoli+ published a critique of the Way that accused the movement of heresy+: “Their doctrine is seriously compromised with errors against fundamental dogmatics of the Church, the Popes and the Councils. They negate the Redemption+, the sacrificial character of the Eucharist, the transubstantiation+, etc... they misunderstand the sin+ and the Grace+ concepts... their doctrinal statements are fundamentally wrong.” Zoffoli warned that "the building of Neocatechumenal seminaries, where candidates are prepared for the priesthood educated in accordance with the doctrinal errors of Kiko, could be one of the worst threats for the Church of tomorrow.". The Way has not officially responded to the accusations of heresy, relying on declarations by the Holy See. They maintain that the Holy See's decisions to approve the Statutes and the ''Orientations for the Teams of Catechists'' speak for themselves, indicating that the Church approves not only of the Way's structure by also its teachings.

There have been allegations that the Way could have a divisive impact on parishes into which it moves. The Neocatechumenal communities are made up of people from the parish, however they do not celebrate their Masses on Sunday with the community but separately on Saturday evening with a Vigil Mass, with their respective communities. In 1994, the Diocese of Clifton+ undertook an extensive investigation of the communities, and concluded that the movement was "a form of spiritual enslavement" and that its presence in parishes was "completely divisive and destructive." Bishop Mervyn Alexander+ issued a decree the next year banning the Neocatechumenal Way from further activity in the diocese.

In some places such as China and the Middle East, local Catholics have complained that missionaries of the Way have forced European songs, rituals and prayers on them.
Archbishop Peter Takeo Okada+ has described the Way's presence in Japan’s small Catholic community as "a serious problem" and "divisive and confrontational". Staff and students of the Takamatsu Redemptoris Mater seminary relocated to Rome in 2009 and in 2010, the Japanese episcopal conference asked the Way to suspend its activities in Japan for five years. Local bishops suspended the Way's activities in the northern part of the Philippines in 2010, and in Nepal in 2011.

In February 2014, Pope Francis+ praised the zeal of the Neocatechumenal Way. He also told the movement it should not impose its distinctively Spanish-Italian model of Church on other cultures, or insist on following practices that are frowned upon by local bishops. “The freedom of the individual must not be forced, and you must respect even the eventual choice of those who should decide to look outside of the Way” the Pope said.



The highest number of communities found in Europe (and the World) are found in Italy (10,000 communities) and Spain (7,000 communities).

The highest number of communities in the world in a country per capita is found in Malta, which has 100 communities in an island of 400,000 persons, which is the equivalent of twice the number of communities both in Italy and in Spain.

The Way is present in all continents, in over 900 dioceses, with a total of about 40,000 communities in 6,000 parishes. Each community may consist of 20~50 members (Brothers and sisters). In 2014 there are 100 Redemptoris Mater (Mother of the Redeemer) seminaries in total.

In Africa there are 800 communities, as well as in the Middle East with Lebanon having the highest number of communities.




*
*
* (unofficial website)
* (unofficial website)
* (unofficial website)
* (interview with Kiko Argüello)

Lay Cath Spirituality:

Neocatechumenate+
*+
Category:Roman Catholic lay ecclesial movements+

Neocatechumenal Way+ The Neocatechumenal Way, also known as the Neocatechumenate, NCW or, colloquially, The Way, is an organisation within the Catholic Church dedicated to the Christian formation of adults.