“Who is the missionary?” – “Mission is for everyone…”

“Who is the missionary?: the missionary is the baptized; mission is for everyone, both in the sense of before and of the “new” evangelization.” – Cardinal Filoni.

Fr. Leonardo Rodriguez, National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies of Uruguay, reported last week in Agenzia Fides, on a seminar titled “Laity and Mission,” held at the International  Centre for Missionary Animation (CIAM). The seminar, co-sponsored by the National Directors of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Spain, Colombia, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina and Uruguay and the Secretariat of the Pontifical Missionary Union (PMU), was held between February 13-18, 2017.

Of particular interest were comments made at the beginning of the 2nd day by Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

Cardinal Fernando Filoni

Fr Rodriguez reported that Cardinal Filoni noted that, especially after the II Vatican Council, “the concept of mission should be understood in a clear dynamic key, setting aside the territorial conception of mission. The Cardinal warned that the missionary fruitfulness can only be perceived by understanding the intrinsic relationship that exists between the mission-church-secular concepts.”

“Cardinal Filoni,” Fr Rodriguez’s writes, “acknowledged that the figure of the lay missionary is new, because, for a long time mission appeared as an exclusive task of the consecrated and religious. And then he wondered: Who is the missionary? And he answered: the missionary is the baptized; mission is for everyone, both in the sense of before and of the “new” evangelization.”

The Cardinal, writes Fr. Rodriguez, “stressed the need to keep in mind the Christian anthropological dimension, in which men and women, as different and complementary beings, have a real opportunity and wealth for the mission of evangelization, because the sensitivity and the characteristics of masculinity and femininity constitute true experiences of mission.”

Fr Rodriguez reported that the Cardinal also encouraged those attending the seminar to consider “the missionary role of children and young people,” noting that in each of these stages of life, “every Christian has skills and opportunities to develop its mission.”

The Cardinal Prefect of the missionary Congregation concluded his visit with two statements in the spirit of the Magisterium of Pope Francis:

“we must recognize that in the periphery of life there the missionary heart of the Church [exists], and do not forget that when people feel loved, they open their hearts to the Gospel”. 

Fr Rodriguez’s report may be accessed by clicking here:

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