ROME – A parish church is a place for people to get to know God better, to worship Him together and to learn how to take the message of His love to the neighbourhood and the world, Pope Benedict XVI said at the dedication of a new church in Rome.

“Grow in the knowledge and love of Christ as individuals and as a parish community and encounter Him in the Eucharist, in listening to His word, in prayer and in charity,” the pope told parishioners at the new St Corbinian Church on March 20.

Pope Benedict said church buildings and parish communities are essential for Christian life and worship.

“In every neighbourhood where people live and work, the Church wants to be present with the evangelical witness of coherent and faithful Christians, but also with buildings where they can gather for prayer and the sacraments, for Christian formation and to establish relationships of friendship and brotherhood and where children, youths, families and the aged can grow in that spirit of community that Christ taught us and that the world needs so badly,” he said. - CNS

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