· Message for World Mission Day 2015 ·
“For if every baptized person is called to bear witness to the Lord Jesus by proclaiming the faith received as a gift, this is especially so for each consecrated man and woman. There is a clear connection between consecrated life and mission.” Pope Francis wrote this in his message for the 89th World Mission Day which will be celebrated on 18 October 2015.
Dated Sunday, 24 May, the Solemnity of Pentecost, the message underlines how the “missionary dimension, which belongs to the very nature of the Church” is “intrinsic to all forms of consecrated life, and cannot be neglected without detracting from and disfiguring its charism”. In fact the Pope explained, “being a missionary is not about proselytizing or mere strategy; mission is part of the 'grammar' of faith, something essential for those who listen to the voice of the Spirit who whispers 'Come' and 'Go forth'”.
Later on in his message, the Pontiff recalled the 50th anniversary of the Conciliar Decree Ad Gentes extending the invitation “to reread this document and to reflect on its contents” which “called for a powerful missionary impulse in Institutes of Consecrated Life”. The Pope pointed to St Theresa of the Child Jesus, Patroness of the Missions, as a model who “inspires reflection upon the deep connection between contemplative life and mission”. “ For many active religious communities,” the Pope wrote, “the missionary impulse which emerged from the Council was met with an extraordinary openness to the mission ad gentes, often accompanied by an openness to brothers and sisters from the lands and cultures encountered in evangelization, to the point that today one can speak of a widespread 'interculturalism' in the consecrated life”.
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