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An Apostolate is a Catholic organization devoted to the mission of the Catholic Church . In more general usage, an apostolate is an association of persons dedicated to the propagation of a religion or a doctrine. The word apostolate comes from the Greek word apostello, which means to "send forth" or "to dispatch". The Christian origin of the word comes from the twelve apostles who were selected by Christ who had a "special vocation, a formal appointment of the Lord to a determined office, with connected authority and duties".[1] An apostolate can be a Christian organization made up of the Catholic laity or of a specific Catholic order

Apostolate as ministry[edit]

Within Catholic theology, "ministry" pertains to the administration of a sacrament; or the celebration of liturgy and all that pertains to the liturgical functioning of the Church and as such is specific to those with Holy Orders. Laity have a different role, namely, to spread the truth of the Catholic faith in the secular world through whatever means they can[2] - this is properly called an apostolate. An example of a Catholic apostolate is Catholic Answers, run by laity whose mission is to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Catholicism in the world.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01626c.htm
  2. ^ Pope Paul VI (November 18, 1965). "Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity Apostolicam Actuositatem".