Who are the Laity?
The Laity refers to all Catholics, except the clergy who have received the sacrament of Holy Orders and those vowed to life in a religious order or congregation.
What is expected from the Laity?
As per Canon Law, all the baptized share in Christ’s priestly prophetic and royal functions. We are designated by God for the apostolate and in the mission which God has entrusted to the Church to fulfil in the world. Everyone is at liberty to join in associations, for purposes of charity or piety or for the promotion of the Christian vocation in the world. The laity makes up about 98% of the church. Hence they are called to use their special gifts because without it the priests are often unable to achieve the full effectiveness of the apostolate. They should be apostles both in their family communities and in their parishes and dioceses. The Canon reminds laity to be faithful, obedient and to treat with reverence their pastors and bishops. But equally important is the right to provide input to the community, to share opinions and information with each other and with their pastors and bishops, and to freely organize their own associations.
How can the Laity participate?
God has blessed everyone with many talents which vary from person to person. St. Patrick’s has many associations which require volunteers to help execute them. By taking part in them, we can fulfil our canonical duty.