Today in the Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity, we continue to look at the forms the laity’s missionary work takes on.
In article 19, we continue to look at the group form. Article 19 contains some great insights that any Catholic group ought to keep at the forefront of their thinking:
Among these associations, those which promote and encourage closer unity between the concrete life of the members and their faith must be given primary consideration. Associations are not ends unto themselves; rather they should serve the mission of the Church to the world. Their apostolic dynamism depends on their conformity with the goals of the Church as well as on the Christian witness and evangelical spirit of every member and of the whole association.
Maintaining the proper relationship to Church authorities, the laity have the right to found and control such associations and to join those already existing. Yet the dispersion of efforts must be avoided. This happens when new associations and projects are promoted without a sufficient reason, or if antiquated associations or methods are retained beyond their period of usefulness. Nor is it always fitting to transfer indiscriminately forms of the apostolates that have been used in one nation to other nations.
Here are the footnotes:
4. cf. Pius XII, allocution to the assembly of the International Federation of Catholic Men, Dec. 8, 1956: A.A.S. 49 (1957) pp. 26- 27.
5. cf. in Chap. 5, no. 24.
6. cf. Sacred Congregation of the Council, concerning the dissolution of the Corrientes diocese in Argentina, Nov. 13, 1920: A.A.S. 13 (1921) p. 139.
7. cf. John XXIII, encyclical “Princeps Pastorum,” Dec. 10, 1959: A.A.S. 51 (1959) p. 856.