World Mission Day is celebrated in all parishes. For Fr Basil, the task of every Christian is “to proclaim the Good News,” i.e. that Jesus is alive.
Colombo (AsiaNews) – The "mission is not just for priests and nuns, but for all the baptised," said Fr Basil Rohan Fernando, national director of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) in Sri Lanka.
Speaking to AsiaNews on the occasion of the Extraordinary Missionary Month, he suggested: "More than thinking about a new evangelisation, we must first re-evangelise ourselves".
With respect to the mission on the island nation, he noted that "it will not end at the end of October, but will continue to flow like a fountain."
In order to bring those who do not yet know him to Christ closer, "we must think about what the mission is for us baptised. Sometimes we believe that it is only for priests, nuns, religious or the Church. This is not the case: the mission starts in the family, at home, in you, as good husbands, good wives, good fathers and mothers. That is your mission. That is why you are baptised. If we truly bear witness with our life, we know the taste of our Lord."
In Sri Lanka, the Extraordinary Missionary Month Pope Francis ordered to renew the testimony of Catholics is being celebrated with a number of ceremonies. On 29 September, the official opening was held in all the churches; yesterday was the 93rd World Missionary Day; the previous Sunday was the National Day of the Laity.
For Fr Basil, Baptised and sent, the Extraordinary Month’s theme, "means that our mission as baptised is to proclaim. What do we proclaim? The Good News. And what is this Good News? It is ‘Jesus is alive . . . Jesus is the Eucharistic God’.”
"Unfortunately, sometimes we do not know that, as baptised, we are called to proclaim. So this month is the right time to rethink our vocation and mission."
In 2016, the PMS national director began preparing priests and nuns "with the aim of reaching 500 consecrated people in five years to support the Church’s mission. So far, we have 380 in all 12 of the country’s dioceses.”
Preparation includes courses of evangelisation and pastoral outreach for guides as well, programs and activities for the laity in every parish, distribution of information material to educate young people and children.
In the first week of September the prepared items were sent to parish priests: posters, flyers, prayer books, guides, reflections, notebooks, handbags with sacred depictions of Jesus and Mary.
"We have spent our energy, time and money to make our faith more conscious, closer and more faithful to the Lord,” said Fr Basil. Thus, “we can be true messengers of God.”