What is the Neocathecumenal Way (Profile)

Established in Spain in 1964 thanks to the collaboration between Francisco José Gómez Argüello Wirtz (Kiko) and Carmen Hernández, the Way was recognised by Pope Paul VI in 1974 as a product of the Second Vatican Council. Currently, it is present in 134 countries with 21,330 communities in 6,270 parishes.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – The Neocathecumenal Way is a journey to rediscover baptism and to develop the faith in the service of bishops and parish priests. Undertaken in parishes and small communities, it targets believers who want revive the richness of Christian initiation in their lives and adults who are preparing for the baptism by guiding them to a mature mission experience in the world.

The Way was born in 1964 among the slum dwellers of Palomeras Altas, Madrid (Spain), out of the collaboration between Francisco José Gómez Argüello Wirtz (Kiko) and Carmen Hernández. The two found the power of the paschal mystery and the proclamation of the kerygma (the good news of Christ’s death and resurrection) among the poor, among whom the first community was born.

The new catechetical experience, which was inspired by the renewal process launched by the Second Vatican Council, was welcomed by the Archbishop of Madrid, Mgr Casimiro Morcillo. He encouraged the founders of the Neocathecumenal Way to bring it to other parishes of the archdiocese, which they did, first in Zamora, and then to other Spanish dioceses.

In 1974, Pope Paul VI recognised the Way as a product of the Second Vatican Council. His successors promoted and accepted the Way as an achievement and inspiration of the Holy Spirit to help the Church. In 1986, thanks to the support of Saint John Paul II, the first Redemptoris Mater seminary was set up in Rome. Two years later, the pontiff sent the first hundred families on mission, in various parts of the world.

Currently, the Neocathecumenal Way is present in 134 nations on all continents with 21,300 communities in 6,270 parishes. Some 1,668 families are on mission, including 216 on the missio ad gentes in de-Christianised or non-Christian cities. Diocesan missionary seminars number 120, with almost 700 itinerant catechists carrying out the work of evangelisation.