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|It has been suggested that this article be merged with Lay apostolate. (Discuss) Proposed since November 2011.|
Apostolates are organizations of the Catholic laity 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.
Most understand the term "apostolate" to be synonymous with the term ministry, or outreach, such as "youth ministry."
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 - 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.
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