Missionary Congress, Johannesburg, South Africa


EnlargeBy Michel Meunier, M.Afr
25th – 26th October 2014
On Saturday and Sunday, from 9am to 4pm, around 250 people came from fifty (50) different parishes (out of 120 parishes in the whole archdiocese). Not bad, for a first time! But we got the quality, if not the expected quantity: we had aimed at five delegates from each parish, which would have amounted to 600! The M.Afr who took part were Jan DeGroef (Bishop), Didier Michon, Christophe Boyer, Martin Somda (stagiaire), Seán O’Leary and Michel Meunier.
The AIMS of the Congress were:
  • to explore ways for us, the Church, to fulfil our vocation of proclaiming the Gospel / Mission
  • to move from maintenance to being on mission (enlarge our tent)
  • to celebrate our baptismal call together
  • to take back to our parishes the motivation to move forward on mission

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Link: Missionary Congress in October 2014 in South Africa

Newsletter South Africa no 45 – November 2014


Newsletter South Africa no 45 logo

 

Missionary Congress in Johannesburg, South Africa
Martin Somda 2014By Martin Somda, Stagiaire in Henley Parish, South Africa
Should it still be said today “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few”, while thousands of thousands are getting baptised and confirmed every year? Yes, the sad reality is that the workers are still few. And here we see a contrast: While many receive Baptism and Confirmation, few are ready to be sent as workers in the harvest of the Lord. Why is it so? This is a question to everybody. Through the zeal of some missionaries, among whom our M.Afr. confrères, the Archdiocese of Johannesburg thinks one of the reasons might be lack of awareness; to work in the harvest of the Lord, we are called to be sent and to take up our crosses and follow Jesus, the first missionary per excellence. To help its different parishes to come to a greater awareness of their missionary call as per their baptism, the Missionary Group of the archdiocese of Johannesburg organised a MISSIONARY CONGRESS with the theme: “ENLARGE THE SPACE OF YOUR TENT” from the prophet Isaiah (54:2).
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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