The ACdP (Spanish acronym for Catholic Association of Propagandists) was founded in 1909 by the Jesuit Father, Ángel Ayala, to introduce the active presence of lay people in the several fields of public life (politics, media, culture, social and education) according to the modern social teaching of the Catholic Church. Ángel Herrera (1886-1968) would soon become the main leader of the Association first as lawyer, after as journalist and finally as priest and cardinal.
The Association, through a reduced number of members, has created important institutions for keeping the influence of Catholicism in society. Its journals, political associations, social projects and educational institutions have played a key role on Spain’s history.
Nowadays its main activities are developed through the CEU’s Universities and Schools, although the members of the Association work individually in different social fields.
Faithful to its roots, the ACdP is an institution of spirituality, education and leadership that fosters the presence of its members in the public life combined with a constant Ignatian discernment in prayer and sacramental practice.
ACdP’s charisma has strong potential in the international context as a movement of spirituality, education and leadership. The Catholic Church, due to its own nature, has a universal mission and the ACdP acts within this mission as an association of lay people inserted in a globalized society.
The ACdP International Office will work in two directions. On the one hand, spreading the ACdP’s spirituality internationally where it is hardly known: its history, its vocation, its achievements and its future proposals. On the other hand, this Office will create an international network of people and institutions that are already engaged in their own countries in the field of social Catholicism fostering the presence of Christians in public life.
Faithful to ACdP’s foundational Roman impulse, the International Office sets as priority the close and frequent relationship with the Holy Father and with the Roman Dicasteries directly related to the initiatives of ACdP (Laity, Culture, Causes of Saints, Education).
As a Spanish association of lay people, the ACdP is committed to the historical reality of Europe and wants to contribute to European construction from its roots, as the popes of the 20th and 21st centuries have repeatedly appealed. The presence of the ACdP in Europe aims to be a converging factor of the various Catholic movements that are already working to bring a clear message from the laity to European public life. Similarly, the ACdP wants to strengthen the relationship with Hispanic-American countries with which it shares religion and language, seeking for a mutual enrichment.
The International Office will work with English and Spanish as international languages and will rely mainly on social networks as a communication and organization tool.