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, November 12, 2013

Feed My Sheep

The Pontifical Mission Societies are under the supervision and direction of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples in Rome. Recently the Prefect of that Congregation, Cardinal Fernando Filoni, concluded a pastoral visit to Korea.  His visit celebrated the creation fifty years ago of the diocese of Suwon.  On the last day of his visit he addressed the seminarians studying at the Major Seminary in Seoul.  His remarks echoed those of Pope Francis as he shared his thoughts with them.

What kind of priest does the Church expect you to be?  How does one describe it?  The doctrine and spirituality of the Church, as noted, have much to say.  Perhaps it would be more appealing to mention a few priests in the life of the Church who have made an authentic physiognomy incarnate; I think of the example of a Vincent de Paul, man of charity; or a Francis Xavier, a missionary who totally loved Christ; or a Maximilian Maria Kolbe, martyr of Auschwitz; or a Karol Wojtyla, who became Pope – and I could continue with many other examples.  There are, however, a few characteristics that cannot be lacking in a priest and that are asked of us and needed by our faithful.  A priest is to be: a man of God (as St. Paul writes in a few verses of his Letters to Timothy [1 Timothy 5:17ff.; 2 Timothy 14-16, 22-26] and to Titus [1:7ff.]); a man of prayer, loving the daily exercise of the Liturgy of the Hours and personal prayer; a man of noble virtues and of charity, as explained rather impressionably by Pope Francis, when he said that to be a pastor who loves his faithful and takes upon himself “the scent of his own sheep”; a man truly formed by the Word and by Divine Wisdom.
The words of Cardinal Filoni and Pope Francis apply to anyone engaged in the work of evangelization. As you and I discern our own participation in the missionary activity of the Church, we ask God to enable us to show the face of Christ to those we meet.

For more information about the missionary work of the Church or to donate to our work see our website or contact us at 66 Brooks Drive, Braintree, MA 02184. 
-Rev. Rodney J. Copp, JCL

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