“Baptized and sent:
The Church of Christ on a mission in the world“
Extraordinary Missionary Month 2019
“An extraordinary missionary month, why?”… “Where does it come from and why in 2019?”… “What we missionaries must do?”
These are the questions to be asked with a person “who is inside” of this special event for October 2019: Fr. Fabrizio Meroni, PIME, General Secretary of the PUM and Director of CIAM and FIDES.
Inspired by the official video presenting the initiative, Fr. Fabrizio reminded us that Pope Francis in his speech to the National Directors of the POM (1st June 2018), said: “We are not merchants, proselytism has nothing to do with it, we do not have a product to sell, but a life to communicate: God, His divine life, His merciful love, His holiness “and adds Fr. Fabrizio, “a divine Life to be communicated and to be given to everyone, always, in opportune and inopportune times”.
With these words, he has launched a great and beautiful challenge, that only the Holy Spirit, the true protagonist of the mission, succeeds to carry on along the human history, “throwing up” all our projects, our schemes, our structures … We are baptized, the Pope tells us, we are called to collaborate with the Spirit, always ready for a continuous, radical, regenerating conversion, open to the newness that the Spirit himself suggests to us.
Fr. Fabrizio, in no uncertain terms, spoke to us of some of the situations and ecclesial institutions that no longer speak to people today, because with time they have emptied of the original charism and caused us to make a serious and profound reflection on the Mission ad gentes today. and on the meaning of our being consecrated women for the mission here in Italy and in the world.
Evangelization is not a joke. It is the mandate that Jesus has entrusted to his disciples … that is, to every baptized person! For this reason, the heart of the missionary month is not the “things to do”, but it is faith in Jesus Christ, it connecting Christ with reality, of the world, because we have the conviction that Jesus is the true answer to the fundamental questions of today’s man and woman.
The Mission ad gentes then assumes that in the Book of the Acts of the Apostles the “mission to the Gentiles”, the proclamation given to the world, keeping open, even when it is difficult, the door of the Church which from the beginning is Catholic, that is, universal. This adjective must become essential again because it gives colour to how we live and how we interact…
The Church must always be “going out”, in a “permanent state of mission”, because its horizon is universal, that is the ends of the Earth; the salvation it proclaims is universal, for everyone and, for this reason, everyone must interest us, we must all reach to others not by proselytism, but by attraction to the witness of our faith.
Here we have a month to reflect, deepen, pray and work so that the Church of today, like the dream of Pope Francis, has a soul and a true missionary nature to be at the service of the world. A month to rediscover the joy of being “witnesses to the crucified Love and Apostles of the Beauty that saves” (Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini).
Well, I have already written too much … all the information on this extraordinary event can be found on the website www.october2019.va.
Read, spread the material, the missionary experiences, let yourself be inspired by the witnesses, allow your creativity to “fly” to the ends of the Earth or, if you prefer, to reach any outskirts of the world and the heart … and certainly will be an unforgettable month … for everyone!
Sr. Agnese Roveda, Italy Province