A Catholic Monthly Magazine

The Mission Month

Fr Bernard Carney sm

Fr Bernard Carney sm

In his recent letter to the world ‘Laudato Si’ the pope has called on the faithful for a new effort to carry the message of God’s love and mercy to the world.

The Holy Spirit has been doing this since the time St Peter and the Apostles preached on the morning after Pentecost. After two centuries, we can see the civilizing effect of that message and we can see where in some parts of the world the spring of salvation is running dry.

In our own time and in our own corner of the world evangelisation is benefitting from modern communications. In the outreach to foreign missions, we can see the lift in neighbouring third world countries in areas like governance, education and health care. But along with the modernisation and Westernisation of these societies go the values of a secular society. The need for support to the  foreign missions has taken on a different hue. Many first world societies are now served by clergy and religious from the third world. Despite the present surplus of vocations there is no guarantee that the strength of the Church in those countries will continue to flourish.

This turns our attention to the second element of the Missions, namely the Home Missions. Here in our society we face a situation where many people see religion as an option.  Despite, for example, a flourishing Catholic Schools system, there is no assurance of commitment after students have left. The challenge is ‘How does the Church reach the minds and hearts of people with God’s message of love and mercy?’

The present Pope has asked all the faithful for a new level of care and commitment to creation. This can be done at a level of international ‘buy in,’ at the level of community, governance and at the level of personal care and appreciation of the beautiful world we live in.Go

Instances of damage to the environment are there for all to see. More severe however are instances of damage to people where slavery, oppression and abuse are accepted behaviours.

The Church has to carry on its fundamental message of justice to all people and each of us begins our mission to others at this level. Only when our actions reflect those of the Good Samaritan or the Father welcoming the Prodigal Son, only then can we be taken as serious agents of the Lord’s message to “Go out and teach all nations.”  

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