VATICAN CITY — A truly fraternal community, one that welcomes all and settles differences lovingly and patiently, is itself a witness to the Gospel, Pope Francis told members of the general chapter of the Montfort Brothers of St. Gabriel.
A true Christian community “attracts and evangelizes each day; it is contagious,” the pope told the brothers April 27. “Those who see how we live are sensitive to our way of being, of accepting different points of view, of facing tensions and resolving them with delicacy, charity and humility.”
The Brothers of St. Gabriel is a religious order primarily dedicated to teaching; it has about 1,200 members and novices.
Living in community and serving one another can make daily life “easier and more joyful,” the pope told them.
In many societies, he said, there is a “spiritual crisis that generates anxiety and sadness” because so many people have lost sight of the meaning and purpose of life.
Catholics, especially Catholic religious orders, need to “form welcoming communities in which it is beautiful to live, showing especially the young the joy of following Christ and responding to his call,” the pope said. “They should feel welcomed without prejudice, recognized and valued so that with their enthusiasm they can offer the gifts God has given them for the good of all.”
The welcome must extend to the poor and marginalized, who always have been at the brothers’ center of attention, he said. “Continue to help them be protagonists of their future so they can occupy their place in society.”