The Mission Hub

The Pontifical Mission Societies include the Society for the
Propagation of the Faith, the Missionary Childhood Association, the Society of St.Peter Apostle, and the Missionary Union of Priests and Religious. These Societies promote a prayerfulmissionary spirit among baptized Catholics and to gather a fund of support for the evangelizing and pastoral programs of more than 1,150 local churches of the Developing World.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Missionary Pope

A few weeks ago, the news media was filled with coverage of Pope Benedict XVI’s apostolic journeys to Mexico and Cuba. 
While many pundits would liked to have portrayed his visits as having political undertones, Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami, long involved as a pastor to the Cuban community in Florida, was crystal clear on the subject:
It is true that Cubans — here and there — want a more political change, but Benedict XVI's visit to Cuba is not expected to have political overtones but rather pastoral ones. Despite a climate of suspicion and mistrust that is often the result of life under totalitarian regimes, the Church in Cuba wants to help the Cuban people to overcome their lack of mutual trust and build unity on the basis of forgiveness and reconciliation. Only by traveling a road inspired by evangelical love, rather than ideological hatred, will the people be able to find secure guidelines to follow to build a future of hope in Cuba. This defines the purpose of the pope’s visit and also defines the mission of the Church in general.

As a pastor, the Holy Father was anxious that the brief time he spent with the Cuban people be seen as a true missionary experience.  He was there to share the truth of the Gospel and to encourage the people of Cuba to be courageous and faithful as they live out of the message of salvation entrusted to them at their baptism.  In his homily on the feast of the Annunciation, he challenged them with these words:
The Church, the living body of Christ, has the mission of prolonging on earth the salvific presence of God, of opening the world to something greater than itself, to the love and the light of God. It is worth the effort, dear brothers and sisters, to devote your entire life to Christ, to grow in his friendship each day and to feel called to proclaim the beauty and the goodness of his life to every person, to all our brothers and sisters.

The Holy Father’s words remind each one of us that we are to share our faith with others and so become missionaries in our own small corner of the world.
-Rev. Rodney J. Copp,JCL

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