Catholic parishes should serve people and communities equally without being "parochial", Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila said on Sunday, at the end of the Philippine Conference on New Evangelization, held over three days at the University of Santo Tomaso in Manila.
Cardinal Tagle said the Church should continue to support and serve people by making room for others and "entering the wounds of others."
"How I wish our parishes would enter the doors of the wounds of people so that no parish would become parochial," he said.
"The word parochial means narrow," Cardinal Tagle told around 6,000 participants at the annual gathering.
Now in its fourth year, the conference discussed issues of social justice, the environment, youth, social media, family, among others.
Cardinal Tagle said that in a world "enveloped by fear" the annual gathering is an invitation to Catholics to make room for those "who want to take the first step towards journeying."
"By making room for others we become agents of God’s hand, guiding those who have lost direction so that they could find their way," he said.
"... touching the wounds of others" is the "way of communion" that will help people recover a sense of common humanity. I hope that every parish really becomes a communion where we open doors, where we surpass our fears, and we see a brother or a sister whose wounds are my wounds too," said Cardinal Tagle.
In his homily at the closing Mass, Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella stressed the church's mission and the role of people in evangelization.
"We recognized that we are all involved in a true movement, a movement that unites us to Christ," said the president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization.
The annual meeting is an initiative of the Archdiocese of Manila to find and introduce new methods to evangelize cultures and societies "fruitfully."
Father Jason Laguerta, conference director, said the event is a continuing effort of exploring new expressions and narratives in sharing the Gospel "in a language that touches and transforms hearts and souls."
"New evangelization is fundamentally about the encounter with Jesus and without this there can be no other communion," said the priest, adding that, "communion without mission is unhealthy."
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