In his call for the church to go to the margins and the peripheries both geographical and existential Pope Francis has defined a new understanding of the mission of the church. But in doing so, he has reached back to the origins of the church, and revived a long and complex theme in Christian history.
In To the Margins, the founder of the Community of San'Egidio offers a profound reflection on this theme, tracing the many ways Christians have opted for the marginalized and excluded, from the early ministry of the church, to the program of St. Francis, the Worker Priests in France, and the witness of modern figures like Bl. Charles de Foucauld, Mother Maria Skobtsova, and the work of San'Egidio itself.
By understanding the many forms of the "margins" and the "marginalized" in our time, we can understand and pursue the mission of the church today.
Riccardi's appealing marriage of erudition and moral urgency highlights the layered meaning of margins and marginalization. The storied founder of San Egidio, Riccardi has marshaled his learning for a new evangelical initiative grounded in the Bergoglio vision of the peripheries. Inspirational, lucid, and persuasive. --Michael W. Higgins, Distinguished Professor of Catholic Thought, Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, CT
Andrea Riccardi traces the contours of Pope Francis s mission to the margins from the earliest history of the church to the present day. He gently draws our attention away from the center of church and society to see with new eyes that those at the existential peripheries the last, lost, littlest, and least among us are at the very heart of the mission of Jesus Christ, the mission of the Church. Riccardi echoes the paradoxical good news of the proclamation of Jesus Christ: The edges are the center! --Michael Downey, author, The Depth of God s Reach: A Spirituality of Christ s Descent
“To the Margins” by Andrea Riccardi - available here