Missionaires – Recent Church Teachings on Foreign Missions

Brothers and Sisters – Recently I learned of the Vatican’s “Doctrinal Note on Some Aspects of Evangelization”, published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The document calls us all to be fervent in our commitment to missionary evangelism. I thought I would share some excerpts with you:

– “…to evangelize does not mean simply to teach a doctrine, but to proclaim Jesus Christ by one’s words and actions, that is, to make oneself an instrument of His presence and action in the world.” (2)

– the primary objective of evangelism is “to help all persons to meet Christ in faith” (2)

– “Evangelization does not only entail the possibility of enrichment for those who are evangelized; it is also an enrichment for the one who does the evangelizing, as well as for the entire Church….

{E}very encounter with another person or culture is capable of revealing potentialities of the Gospel which hitherto may not have been fully explicit and which will enrich the life of Christians and the Church.” (6)

– “There is nothing more beautiful than to know Him and to speak to others of our friendship with Him.” Quote from Mass homily by Benedict XVI

– “Evangelization also involves a sincere dialogue that seeks to understand the reasons and feelings of others.”

– the apostolic commitment to which everyone in the Church is called is “an inalienable right and duty.” (10)

– public preaching of the Gospel and personal witness (“whereby an individual’s personal conscience is reached and touched by an entirely unique word that he receives from someone else”) are both essential. (12)

– “Throughout the entire history of the Church, people motivated by the love of Jesus have undertaken initiatives and works of every kind in order to proclaim the Gospel to the entire world and in all sectors of society.” (13)

In His Message for World Mission Sunday 2007, Pope Benedict XVI talks about the urgency of the missionary mandate. The theme chosen for the World Mission day is “All the churches for all the world”. This is meant to incite an awareness of “the urgent need to relaunch missionary action in the face of the many serious challenges of our time.”Missionary activity allows a providential     ‘ exchange of gifts’ which benefits the entire Mystical Body of Christ…the most will be made of the potential and charisms of each one….all the Christian communities…every baptized person.” He repeats that “missionary commitment remains the first service that the Church owes to humanity”. All the Pastors should share in the “pressing concern to proclaim and spread the Gospel.” He exhorts the Church to pray for the priests, religious and laity serving in foreign missions. He asks God that their example may inspire new missionary vocations and renewed mission awareness, noting that “it is precisely on the basis of the courage to evangelize that the love of believers for the Lord is measured.” “…{F}or the individual members of the faithful it is no longer merely a matter of collaborating in evangelizing work but of feeling that they themselves are protagonists and corresponsible.” Working together we “use the means necessary for evangelization today”, “working out appropriate spiritual and formative itineraries”, and “training new missionaries to spread the Gospel in our time”.


About frankfmcmissions

Frank and his wife Genie are the co-founders of Family Missions Company,serving with a board of directors and the blessing of the Bishop of Lafayette. They have served in foriegn missions, along with their seven children, since 1975. They oversee the FMC apostolates and the training of the fulltime missionaries.
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