Missionary Congress in October 2014 in South Africa


Enlange the space bannerEnlargeGreetings in our Lord!
“The pilgrim Church is missionary by her very nature” (Vatican II)
Indeed, this striking statement is found in the Decree on the Mission Activity of the Church, Ad Gentes, No 2. This should propel us into action with the realisation that such is our Mission in the Church: to go out of our sacristies and our rectories together with our parishioners and reach out to those at the peripheries, to use a favourite expression of Pope Francis.
About two years ago, a group of Missionary Congregations/Institutes started to meet together in order to prepare the annual Mission Month (October). This year, with the approbation of his Grace Archbishop Buti Tlhagale, we have started planning for a Missionary Congress to take place on the last weekend of Mission Month, (Saturday & Sunday, 25th & 26th October). It will take place at St. Benedict’s School in Bedfordview.
We have decided to use the theme of this year’s Lenten Season: “Belonging to Christ Committed for Mission”
Missionary Congress Oct 2014 bOur confrere Bishop Jan DeGroef has been a real source of inspiration for many aspects of the Congress (he is the Bishop in charge of the Department of Evangelisation for the Bishops’ Conference). Seán O’Leary will also give a conference on the situation of South Sudan.
“Enlarge the space of your tent” (Isaiah 54:2) will be our main sub-theme. We shall base our presentations (talks, group discussions, liturgies, testimonies, PowerPoint/films, etc.) on Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium. We will have very interesting and fiery testimonies by Missionaries (religious and lay) who are already very committed in their parishes here in South Africa or outside (ad extra).
For the time being, I think these few pieces of info will give you an idea of what we are planning. I will write more later on.
Michel Meunier, M.Afr

Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium of the Holy Father Francis


banners-EVANGELII-GAUDIUM-ENApostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium of the Holy Father Francis to the Bishops, Clergy, Consecrated Persons and the Lay Faithful on the Proclamation of the Gospel in Today’s World
1. THE JOY OF THE GOSPEL fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus. Those who accept his offer of salvation are set free from sin, sorrow, inner emptiness and loneliness. With Christ joy is constantly born anew. In this Exhortation I wish to encourage the Christian faithful to embark upon a new chapter of evangelization marked by this joy, while pointing out new paths for the Church’s journey in years to come.
I. A JOY EVER NEW, A JOY WHICH IS SHARED
2. The great danger in today’s world, pervaded as it is by consumerism, is the desolation and anguish born of a complacent yet covetous heart, the feverish pursuit of frivolous pleasures, and a blunted conscience. Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests and concerns, there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor. God’s voice is no longer heard, the quiet joy of his love is no longer felt, and the desire to do good fades. This is a very real danger for believers too. Many fall prey to it, and end up resentful, angry and listless. That is no way to live a dignified and fulfilled life; it is not God’s will for us, nor is it the life in the Spirit which has its source in the heart of the risen Christ.
3. I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them; I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day. No one should think that this invitation is not meant for him or her, since “no one is excluded from the joy brought by the Lord”.
Full text in English (571 KB – 76 pages)
Summary in French / Français (146 KB)