19 November 2017
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas




  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia


  • » 10/22/2017, 15.37

    VATICAN

    Papal letter for the 100th anniversary of Maximum Illud on the activity of missionaries in the world



    Pope Francis plans an Extraordinary Missionary Month for October 2019 to awaken the commitment of the missio ad gentes and transform ordinary pastoral outreach along missionary lines. The goal is to move away from tiredness, formalism and self-preservation. From Benedict XV's missio ad gentes to Vatican II, from Pope John Paul II to Evangelical Gaudium, this is the Church’s “essential task”,

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis wrote a letter to Card Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, released today by the Vatican Press office. In it, the pontiff promulgates an “Extraordinary Missionary Month to be celebrated in October 2019, with the aim of fostering an increased awareness of the missio ad gentes and taking up again with renewed fervour the missionary transformation of the Church’s life and pastoral activity”. It is important to consider that the “new evangelisation” of the peoples of old Christian tradition is happening within the “commitment to the Church’s universal mission”, which is to suitably channel “the evangelization of today’s world rather than for her self-preservation”.

    The year 2019 was chosen to mark the 100th anniversary of Benedict XV’s Apostolic Letter Maximus illud (November 30, 1919) on the activities carried out by missionaries around the world. That year, in the wake of the tragic global conflict that the pope had called a “useless slaughter,” Benedict XV recognised the need for a more evangelical approach to missionary work in the world, so that it would be purified of any colonial overtones and kept far away from the nationalistic and expansionistic aims that had proved so disastrous.  “The Church of God is universal; she is not alien to any people,” he wrote, firmly calling for the rejection of any form of particular interest, inasmuch as the proclamation and the love of the Lord Jesus, spread by holiness of one’s life and good works, are the sole purpose of missionary activity.”

    In his letter, Francis notes that the work of the Second Vatican Council (especially Ad Gentes) reiterates that the missio ad gentes is “an essential task” and that the Church is “missionary by nature”.

    Although a century has gone by, “there still remains an enormous missionary task for her to accomplish.” Citing John Paul II in Redemptoris Missio, Francis writes that the “mission of Christ the Redeemer, which is entrusted to the Church, is still very far from completion;” indeed, “an overall view of the human race shows that this mission is still only beginning and that we must commit ourselves wholeheartedly to its service.”

    Once again the missio ad gentes remains current and necessary. Not only the age of missionaries is not over yet, but the universal missionary momentum is urgently needed to awaken the ordinary and pastoral mission, where we can sometimes see tiredness and formalism.

    Citing again John Paul II, Francis ntoes “that missionary activity ‘renews the Church, revitalizes faith and Christian identity, and offers fresh enthusiasm and new incentive.  Faith is strengthened when it is given to others!  It is in commitment to the Church’s universal mission that the new evangelization of Christian peoples will find inspiration and support.”

    This is one of the main points of the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, in which Francis stresses that “missionary outreach is paradigmatic for all the Church’s activity.” In fact, “Mere administration’ can no longer be enough.  Throughout the world, let us be ‘permanently in a state of mission.’”[12]  Let us not fear to undertake, with trust in God and great courage, “a missionary option capable of transforming everything, so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channeled for the evangelization of today’s world rather than for her self-preservation. 

    “The Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud called for transcending national boundaries and bearing witness, with prophetic spirit and evangelical boldness, to God’s saving will through the Church’s universal mission.  May the approaching centenary of that Letter serve as an incentive to combat the recurring temptation lurking beneath every form of ecclesial introversion, self-referential retreat into comfort zones, pastoral pessimism and sterile nostalgia for the past.  Instead, may we be open to the joyful newness of the Gospel.  In these, our troubled times, rent by the tragedies of war and menaced by the baneful tendency to accentuate differences and to incite conflict, may the Good News that in Jesus forgiveness triumphs over sin, life defeats death and love conquers fear, be proclaimed to the world with renewed fervour, and instil trust and hope in everyone.”

    “In the light of this, accepting the proposal of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, I hereby call for an Extraordinary Missionary Month to be celebrated in October 2019, with the aim of fostering an increased awareness of the missio ad gentes and taking up again with renewed fervour the missionary transformation of the Church’s life and pastoral activity.  The Missionary Month of October 2018 can serve as a good preparation for this celebration by enabling all the faithful to take to heart the proclamation of the Gospel and to help their communities grow in missionary and evangelizing zeal.  May the love for the Church’s mission, which is “a passion for Jesus and a passion for his people,”[14] grow ever stronger!”

    The Missionary Dicastery and the Pontifical Missionary Societies will be tasked with “the work of preparing for this event, especially by raising awareness among the particular Churches, the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and among associations, movements, communities and other ecclesial bodies. 

    Finally, “May the Extraordinary Missionary Month prove an intense and fruitful occasion of grace, and promote initiatives and above all prayer, the soul of all missionary activity.  May it likewise advance the preaching of the Gospel, biblical and theological reflection on the Church’s mission, works of Christian charity, and practical works of cooperation and solidarity between Churches, so that missionary zeal may revive and never be wanting among us.”

    e-mail this to a friend Printable version










    See also

    27/11/2005 VATICAN
    Pope: Advent, "a time of hope and waiting", gets under way

    The lead-up to Christmas is also a "time in which Christians should reawaken in their heart the hope of being able to, with God's help, renew the world" and prepare for the "final goal", Christ's second coming.



    26/11/2013 VATICAN
    Pope: "A missionary and pastoral conversion" for a Church open to changing its structures
    The Apostolic Exhortation " Evangelii Gaudium”. Evangelization, the programmatic manifesto of the papacy, must find "new paths" and "creative methods" . A "healthy decentralization”. An economic system "unjust at its roots". "Authentic attacks on religious freedom". "There is an inseparable link between our faith and the poor ". " No one can demand from us that we relegate religion to the secret intimacy of the individual". Islamic countries must "ensure freedom to Christians to worship and live their faith."

    31/03/2014 ITALY - VATICAN
    The 'Joy of the Gospel' to wake up the world and the mission
    A new book on Pope Francis' Apostolic Exhortation, by Fr Giuseppe Buono PIME, helps us read 'Evangelii Gaudium' from its true missionary point of view. The path of conversion to Christ is like the journey of the missionary who goes among the people not to become "like them", but "one of them".

    14/03/2014 KOREA
    Korea, records sales (even among non-Christians) for Evangelii Gaudium
    Since the publication in Korean two weeks ago, Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation has sold 25 thousand copies compared to the usual quantity of 4 thousand for papal documents. Catholic publishing sources explain: "It’s because of the Pope's impending visit, but also to its simple language and its discussion of current issues such as social inequality".

    14/11/2016 17:58:00 INDONESIA
    Indonesian bishops call on Catholics to take part in next year’s elections to build the country

    Some 7 provinces, 18 regencies and 76 districts go to the polls next February. Citing Gaudium et Spes, the Bishops' Conference calls on all believers to "take advantage of their civil right to vote." Catholics can help create a peaceful atmosphere to ensure that the right leaders are elected.





    Editor's choices

    HONG KONG - CHINA - VATICAN
    Mass for a deceased underground priest. Card. Zen asks for God ‘s grace to save the Church in China and the Holy See from the 'precipice'

    Li Yuan

    Fr. Wei Heping, 41, died in mysterious circumstances, his body dumped in a river in Taiyuan (Shanxi). For the police claim he committed suicide. Family members are not allowed to even see the autopsy report. For Card. Zen the Holy See (which "is not necessarily the Pope") seeks a compromise at all costs with the Chinese government, risking "to sell out the faithful Church". Justice and Peace publish a booklet about Fr. Wei, not to forget.


    VATICAN - ITALY
    Pope: No more war, its only fruit is death, 'our self-destruction'



    Marking the Feast of All Souls, Francis celebrated Mass at the American Cemetery in Nettuno. "When so many times in history men think of a war, they are convinced of bringing a new world, they are convinced of making a 'spring'. It ends in a winter, ugly, cruel, with the reign of terror and death."


    AsiaNews IS ALSO A MONTHLY!

    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.
     

    SUBSCRIBE NOW

    News feed

    Canale RSScanale RSS 

    Add to Google









     

    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®