Our Religious Institution has a special obligation
toward people in missionary situation,
especially where faith is no longer rooted
or has never been established.
In light of the 100th anniversary of the publication of the Apostolic Letter of Pope Benedict XVth Maximum Illud, Pope Francis announced the month of October 2019, as an Extraordinary Mission month with the theme: Baptized and sent: The Church of Christ on mission in the world. We, Pallottine missionaries, also want to celebrate this special time in a dignified and fruitful way. Therefore, I would like to encourage you all to intensify your reflection on mission, to revive your bonds with Christ and the Gospel, and to help all who seek to meet the living God.
As a Mission Congregation, we are to live out in a special way the mystery of Christ who was sent. In a world experiencing a profound change today, we want that testimony of our missionary commitment be ever more credible. We have asked the same question many times as those who heard Jesus, "What shall we do to do God's work?" (John 6:28). We know the answer of Jesus: "This is God's work, that you may believe in him whom he has sent." (John 6:29). Let us rediscover anew the content of faith that we confess, celebrate, experience, and we have the grace and duty to bring to others. Let us be revived anew with a missionary imagination inspired by the light of the Holy Spirit and the needs of today's world.
May this Extraordinary Mission Month be lived - as suggested by the Holy Father - under the following dimensions:
- A personal encounter with Jesus Christ alive in His Church through the Eucharist, the Word of God, personal and communal prayer;
- Testimony: missionary saints, martyrs and confessors of the faith, as an expression of the Church scattered throughout the world;
- Deepening biblical, catechetical, spiritual and theological formation regarding mission ad gentes;
- Missionary charity and generously support the mission ad gentes and Churches in great need.
Dear Sisters, I invite you to actively participate in the proposals given by the Universal Church (www.october2019.va) and local Churches at national, diocesan and parish levels. With enthusiasm and a sense of responsibility for mission ad gentes let us awake a missionary spirit among the people. Let us courageously undertake missionary evangelization and share our rich experience of missionary service.
I also encourage you to deepen collaboration between our Provinces in order to undertake new joint initiatives, to exchange and share spiritual and material goods, as well as to exchange personnel. Let us spare no effort to help our Missionaries scattered around the world. Let's also take time in the community to remember the missionary Sisters who have already gone to eternity, listening their stories of life and faith. May the Encyclical Redemptoris Missio of John Paul II become our obligatory reading. I trust that its text will inspire us with creative ideas, revive the awareness of the missionary being sent and inspire us to undertake new missions.
Let us entrust this time of grace to Mary, Queen of the Holy Rosary, who "went and hurried" (Luke 1:39) to meet another person, carrying Christ. Calling on her intercession, let us pray together:
when your only begotten Son Jesus Christ
rose from the dead, he commissioned his followers to
“Go and make disciples of all nations”
And you remind us that through our Baptism
we are made sharers in the mission of the Church.
Empower us by the gifts of the Holy Spirit
to be courageous and zealous in bearing witness to the Gospel,
so that the mission entrusted to the Church,
which is still very far from completion, may find new and efficacious expressions that bring life and light to the world.
Help us make it possible for all peoples to experience the saving love and mercy of Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, One God, forever and ever.
In a spirit of communion,
Sr. Izabela Świerad SAC