One of the various tasks of the Pontifical Council for the Laity is to organise occasional congresses of delegations of the laity from countries in a particular region or continent, accompanied by their bishops, to discuss and evaluate the situation of the Catholic laity in those areas. These congresses are wonderful opportunities to exchange ideas on life situations and Christian experiences of the lay faithful, to go into questions in depth, and to evaluate challenges and priorities that are identified with regard to their vocation and mission in the Church and the world. They are also occasions to set out with new impetus in participating in the communion and mission of the Church in the various areas and different circumstances, and to address the most urgent challenges that involve the participation of lay Catholics in the life and mission of the Church.
Congress of Lay Catholics in Asia
This congress, held in September 2010, was to be a sign of missionary concern for a continent rich in traditions, cultures and religions, a continent that is clearly emerging on the global scene, both politically and economically, and that is undergoing huge transformations in every sphere. At the same time, this will be a sign of pastoral care towards the lay faithful who are called, in communion with their pastors, to witness to Jesus Christ and proclaim his presence as a gift of salvation for Asia. " Proclaiming Jesus Christ in Asia today " was the theme chosen for the congress.
Congress of Lay Catholics in Africa
Continuing the tradition of continental or regional meetings that are held periodically in different geopolitical and cultural areas of the world to address the most urgent challenges that involve the participation of lay Catholics in the life and mission of the Church in those places, the Pontifical Council for the Laity is now preparating for a congress of lay Catholics in Africa. The Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops clearly revealed the central role of the Catholic laity and associations of the faithful in the face of many challenges for the future of this continent. The theme of this congress, to be held September 4-9 2012, will be "Being Witnesses of Jesus Christ in Africa today."