New Communities

by Saint Pope John Paul II

The creativity of the Spirit is ever new. One of the most exciting and hopeful happenings during the late 20th century was the birth and formation of many new communities—new forms of commitment to God, mostly by and for lay people. Madonna House was one of the first of the new communities.

In May 1998, Pope John Paul II convened a worldwide meeting of these communities and movements. The following is an excerpt from one of his talks at this event.


In our world, often dominated by a secularized culture which encourages and promotes models of life without God, the faith of many is sorely tested and is frequently stifled and dies. Thus, we see an urgent need for powerful proclamation and solid, in-depth Christian formation.

There is so much need today for mature Christian personal-ities, conscious of their baptismal identity, of their vocation and mission in the Church and in the world.

There is great need for living Christian communities. And here are the movements and the new ecclesial communities: they are the response, given by the Holy Spirit, to this critical challenge. …

Jesus said: “I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled!” (Lk 12:39).

Today … Christ says to each of you: Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to the whole creation (Mk 16:15). He is counting on every one of you, and so is the Church. “Lo,” the Lord promises, “I am with you always, until the end of time.” (Mt 28:20)