December 16, 2011
First Day of Aguinaldo Masses
RE: Neo Catechumenal Communities
My dear brothers in the priesthood:
In my letter to you on Pentecost Sunday this year entitled “SEEKING COMMUNION IN CHARITY: Pastoral Instructions on the Neo Catechumenal Way”, I laid out some pastoral guidelines to insure that the members of the Catholic faithful who have taken the Way may find themselves always integrated with the parish community life.
On the matter of opening new communities and starting new evangelization, the discretion was entrusted to the parish priests where there are already existing communities. After consulting some members of the presbyterium, it is our discernment that no new communities of the Neo Catechumenal Way must be opened and no new evangelization must be initiated within the year 2012. Instead, the members of the Catholic faithful who have begun walking the Way must just be sustained and guided towards the next steps. We must concentrate our efforts on those who are already walking the Way and refrain from starting new communities until all questions about the Way have been clearly settled.
Furthermore, the guidelines of the archdiocese on the matter of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion must be diligently observed too when the Masses with the Neo Catechumenal communities are celebrated. Only duly commissioned EMHC may assist in the distribution of Holy Communion.
Please be guided by this directive and convey the same to the parishioners who are walking the Way. Thank you.
+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS
Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan
The Roman Catholic
Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan
(Central Pangasinan, Philippines)