I am writing you after this summer to share some great news with you. It will bring as much joy to your heart as it did to mine. As you know—because many of you participated in the celebration—on June 3, 2010, the Pontifical Council for the Laity canonically erected the Home of the Mother as an International Association of the Faithful. They approved the Statutes ad experimentum for a period of five years.
After that time of the Church’s study, the Pontifical Council for the Laity confirmed the canonical erection of the Home of the Mother as a Public International Association of the Faithful and gave its definitive approval of the Statutes on July 11, 2016, Feast day of St. Benedict, Patron Saint of Europe. Once again—as the Lord has caused me to do in the past—I must exclaim, “The Lord has done great things for us; Oh, how happy we were!” (Psalm 126)
I would like to share with you some excerpts of the Decree of Approval that I now have in my hands. Mediate on them, and let them soak into your hearts as a pressing call to be what we are supposed to be.
“The commitment of communities of evangelizers is of great importance for the New Evangelization. These communities must allow themselves to be transformed by the Spirit, announcing the Gospel with fervour, joy, and boldness in every time and place, also going against the current (cf. Pope Francis, Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium). [...]
Considering these things, and keeping in mind the continuous consolidation of the Association in several different countries of the world, [...] the Pontifical Council for the Laity decrees: 1) The confirmation of the erection of the Home of the Mother as a Public International Association of the Faithful, with juridical personality, according to canons 298-300 of the Code of Canon Law.
2) The definitive approval of the Statutes of the above-mentioned association, duly authenticated, with the original copy deposited in the archives of this Dicastery.”
Let us give thanks because, as St. Teresa of Avila, we can say, “We are children of the Church.” I hope you realize that the responsibility the Church has given us is now confirmed.
The Decree from 2010 said, “Considering the development of the Home of the Mother and the fruits that the Association has caused in the lives of many Christian faithful, becoming an authentic path and school of holiness and apostolate...” It is the Church, our Mother the Church, who speaks when she describes the Home as “an authentic path and school of holiness and apostolate.” I ask you to reread these words; may they be a true examination of conscience for us.
I would also like to remind you about what I said to Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko on June 21, 2010, during the moving ceremony of approval in the See of the Pontifical Council for the Laity in Rome: “I hope that all of us realize that this new responsibility comes from God. In the future, may we live with docility and with complete self-giving the missions that the Lord has entrusted to us: The Defense of the Eucharist, the Defense of the Honor of Our Mother, especially in the privilege of her Virginity, and the Conquest of the Youth for Jesus Christ.”
The Home’s missions are not just a simple decoration in our statutes. We must respond to the task entrusted to us. We must all understand our place and mission in the Home of the Mother, and allow ourselves to be guided with docility by Our Mother, so that her Home may be as she desires it. Many times you have heard me speak of the Home as an “extraordinary spiritual hospital.” Many of you have been restored in this “hospital,” and all of you are called to collaborate with the Lord in the task of restoring the many souls entrusted to us, especially those of the youth. God counts on this “most humble plant of the Church” that is the Home of the Mother to collaborate in the construction of His Kingdom.
I ask you to reread article 2.1 of our Statutes that have received final approval from Rome: “The Home of the Mother is the gift that Our Lord wants to give to His Mother and, for this purpose, He has chosen each one of its members.” As I have said many times, “The Home of the Mother is the property of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We cannot forget what we are, by the active will of God Our Father, who continues in His magnificent work until He completes it.” (The Home of the Mother, Work of God. September 8, 2008) As you receive the news of this important event in the history of the Home of the Mother, give thanks to Our Mother for choosing us. Place yourselves in her hands again, with renewed trust and dedication, just as you did when you recited for the first time the prayer of consecration by which you accepted her call to be part of her Home.
The Church trusts in us. Our Mother trusts in us. Let us not disappoint them in the trust that they have placed in us. May this consoling announcement that I make today confirm you all in your vocation to the Home of the Mother.
With my blessing,
Fr. Rafael Alonso
(September 22, 2016)