The Confraternity of Christ the Priest works to bring the life of grace to the churchless people by a special type of approach – made on a person to person basis at the parish level. This new approach is called …
The INTENSIVE Apostolate
While preferring areas where the faith is weak or where a new parish is to be established the Confraternity, on the invitation of the bishop, would undertake the Intensive Apostolate in any district. We pray that the Lord of the Harvest will send many, many labourers into this harvest because, instead of the normal staff of one or two priests, the Confraternity would like to place ten or twelve priests there for a number of years. The reason for so many priests is to enable personal contact to be made with every individual in the district. Knowing that Jesus Christ desires everyone to have the divine life of Grace, these priests, as Christ’s representatives, will offer that divine life to all willing to accept it.
The priests aim to know personally every individual in the parish. They strive to win each man’s friendship and gain his confidence. Once a person to person friendship has been established people will of their own accord bring up the subject of religion in conversation. It is our experience that everyone deep down in his heart is interested in religion. He is concerned to know what will happen to him when he dies.
His priest friend is able to explain that everyone is made of a body and a soul. He explains what the soul is, how it cannot die but, after the death of the body, the soul lives on, lives on forever either in heaven or in hell. He describes what God has told us about the everlasting joys of heaven and the eternal punishment of hell. He tells how God sent His Son down on this earth, how He became a man like us to teach us the way to heaven, how that Son died on a cross to save us from hell and to open heaven to us. Before He returned to heaven He set up in the world an organisation which would carry on His work of teaching and saving men. Through divine power that organisation will last till the end of time and will carry Christ’s message to every country and bring it to every person. That organisation is God’s Church.
By the time the priest has reached this point in his explanations the person has become really interested. He wants to know more. Often he asks for fuller instructions. That person to person approach is necessary to establish deep convictions. Conversion is a commitment of intellect and will to God and each person must make the commitment for himself.
This approach seeks to influence souls person by person, then family by family, then street by street till the whole parish is brought to God. We aim at the 100 % conversion of a parish. We realize that we may never succeed mathematically but our goal is to convert as many as possible and to leave behind an apostolic laity who will eventually win the others.
While the Intensive Apostolate concentrates on the churchless, it does not neglect good Catholics. Personal contact with them aims to promote growth in holiness, to form lay apostles, to foster vocations and to mobilize all the spiritual forces of the parish on its total conversion.
Pervading all parish activity is a missionary atmosphere the realization that the grace of God must be channeled down to every man. Hence the ceremonies in the church are carried out with the utmost reverence and splendour. Explanations of Mass and other liturgical ceremonies, congregational singing and participation enable the people to take an intelligent part in the worship of God.
The power of the Intensive Apostolate comes from the terrific impact it has on a parish, an impact that is felt as careless Catholics return to Mass and sacraments, as churchless people embrace the faith, as good example surrounds parishioners on all sides. As the apostolic spirit of converts influences their families and friends, as the personal contact of many priests gears the whole parish to a trend Godwards that becomes irresistible. All this apostolic effort is powered by a continual current of fervent prayer.