Extraordinary Missionary Month of October 2019
(Rome) On 22nd October last year Pope Francis announced to the whole Church, the desire to promote an extraordinary missionary month, with the theme “Baptized and sent; the Church of Christ on a mission in the world.” This extraordinary month will be October 2019. The occasion is the centenary of the Apostolic Letter ‘Maximum Illud’ of Benedict XV, on the missionary activity carried out by the missionaries in the world.
Although, the emphasis is placed on the mission Ad Gentes, for the Redemptorists this is an opportunity to express with greater ardour our missionary charism. Last year, Pope Francis, citing John Paul II, in the “Redemptoris Missio”, reminded us that “the mission of Christ the Redeemer, entrusted to the Church, is still far from its completion and a look towards the whole of humanity shows that such a mission is still in its infancy and we must commit ourselves with all our strength to its service.” With regard to the agreement recently reached between the Vatican and the Chinese government, and the current global panorama in general, the universal missionary impulse desired by Pope Francis acquires a special relevance today.
Furthermore, this call can help us overcome the temptation of ecclesial introversion and self-referential confidentiality in the security of our limits. Similarly, in the context of restructuring, for us Redemptorists, it becomes an opportunity to overcome any form of pastoral pessimism or of sterile nostalgia of the past, to open ourselves instead to the joy of the mission, as Pope stated.
Moreover, next October, exactly one year before the extraordinary missionary month, it offers us the opportunity to help our communities to carry out the gospel proclamation and through the evangelizing mission bring conversion in their hearts. Prayers, reflections and missionary actions in each of our conferences and (v) provinces will help us to live this extraordinary dimension of the missionary month 2019. This was the invitation that Cardinal Fernando Filone, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of peoples has given to the various religious congregations and institutes to organize moments of dialogue – prayer – reflection, according to the needs, the situations and through the means that are at our disposal.
In the words of Pope Francis, this is “a time of intense and fruitful grace to promote initiatives and to value in particular the prayer of all – the soul of the whole mission – the proclamation of the Gospel, the biblical and theological reflection on mission, the works of Christian charity and the concrete actions of collaboration and solidarity among the Churches, so that the missionary enthusiasm is revived “.
The missionary dimension of our baptism and our Redemptorist charism with this invitation by the Pope may translate into a concrete witness of the abundant redemption of Christ that reaches to the most abandoned.
General Secretariat for Evangelization
Strong in faith, rejoicing in hope, burning with charity, on fire with zeal, in humility of heart and persevering in prayer, Redemptorists as apostolic men and genuine disciples of Saint Alphonsus follow Christ the Redeemer with hearts full of joy