In his speech to the General Congregation of Cardinals prior to the 2013 conclave, the then Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio said, “When the Church does not go out of herself to evangelize, she becomes self-referential and then sick. […] When the Church is self-referential, without realizing it, she believes she has her own light. She ceases to be the mysterium lunae and this gives rise to the most serious evil of spiritual worldliness.
News in Missions
Today vast numbers of people still do not know Jesus Christ. For this reason, the mission ad gentes continues to be most urgent. All the members of the Church are called to participate in this mission, for the Church is missionary by her very nature: she was born “to go forth”.
Antony Clark is a professor of Chinese history at Whitworth University in Washington. In 2020, he published China's Catholics in an Era of Transformation, which features a collection of short essays on China's modern Catholic Church, combined with reports on his encounters with contemporary Chinese Catholics. The essays were mostly written in China while he was traveling by train or staying in villages and large cities near the Catholic communities.
Local priests like Father Lien manage the Catholic parishes and mission station in all 27 dioceses of Vietnam, where Spanish and Portuguese missionaries brought the faith in the 16th century. The Catholic mission suffered because of a dearth of priests and infrastructure in some 10 dioceses in northern Vietnam, where communism forced Christians to flee during the Vietnam War (1954-75). However, native priests are now enthusiastically engaged in missions, particularly in the north.
As a young Buddhist, Tran Thi Ha Ngan often wondered what motivated her Catholic friends to help people who were abandoned due to physical disabilities, leprosy or HIV/AIDS, regardless of their religion.
In the northern hills of Vietnam, Father Joseph Nguyen Tien Lien starts his day at 4am and finishes at midnight. The 42-year-old was assigned to Mai Lien Parish in 2017, a year after he became a priest. He came to the hilly Mai Son district of Son La province as the first priest of the newly established parish, which comes under Hung Hoa Diocese. Evangelizing ethnic villagers “is my top priority. I want to bring God’s love to them so that they can enjoy divine mercy,” he says.
Paul “the little one” became Paul “the great apostle,” the apostle par excellence. With all his intelligence, he announced Christ by means of powerful paradoxes: the Christ who, from being rich, became poor. Paul imitated him, setting aside all his human riches, family origins, education, money, to make himself a humble servant of all. He wanted to live what he preached. From being a Pharisee expert in the Scriptures, from being a Roman citizen and inhabitant of Tarsus, from being a proud Jew, he became a pagan with the pagans, a slave with the slaves.
The global Church will come together this Sunday to support mission around the world. Missio, which supports a global network of charities serving the Church in more than 120 countries, is appealing for parishes and schools to help communities living in poverty, violence and oppression.
More evidence has emerged of a relentless campaign of persecution against Indian Christians after a video was released showing a Christian woman being forced to burn an image of Jesus by a mob of Hindu extremists. In the video the men accuse the woman of being like a prostitute, claiming she was bribed to become a Christian. They tell her: “You should worship our gods and goddesses.”
Catholics in Pakistan are mourning Italian Dominican priest Aldino Amato, a revered development pioneer and educationist who served Pakistan for almost six decades. The last foreign missionary of Faisalabad Diocese died on May 1 at a hospital in Lahore.
Archbishop Michel Aupetit of Paris has announced that he's closing what has long been recognized as the French capital's most progressive Catholic community, ostensibly because of its members' refusal to accept recent priests that have been assigned there.
Shilpi Das’ life has been divided into two segments for more than 10 years now. The 33-year-old Catholic mother of two from a village under Queen of Fatima Church in Bangladesh's Thakurgaon district looks after her family with her husband. She is also a catechist who travels to remote villages near the Indian border.
With the Pope preparing to visit the war-torn country, a veteran Middle East correspondent looks at the prospects of a return to security in a nation haunted by its blood-soaked past. I have always admired Iraqis for the way they have struggled to survive – though many of them failed to do so successfully – over 40 years of violence and fear.
Analyzing the Japanese words used to indicate the concept of “mission” may help to better facilitate understanding of what mission should be, the perception of which has become even more acute over the last 50 years. In fact, every definition entails a model or a paradigm of how to carry out a missionary activity.
For Saint Francis Xavier the motives were Christ and the salvation of the people. Thus he was not afraid to consider the most distant and difficult goal as the most urgent. With this enthusiasm he proclaimed the Gospel in India, in Malacca (Malaysia), in the Moluccas (Indonesia) and in Japan. Only death stopped him when he tried to enter China, his last great missionary dream.
Four hundred years have passed since the death of Justus Takayama Ukon, remembered and revered in Japan not only as a martyr, but also as a great witness to the Christian faith, which he practiced in connection with the mission of the Society of Jesus. He was the greatest Japanese missionary of the sixteenth century because of how he lived the Christian faith with the tenacity, rigor and loyalty that were typical of the Japanese people, promoting the inculturation of Christianity through the witness of his life, which eventually led to his dying while in exile.
For Francis Xavier the motives were Christ and the salvation of the people. Thus he was not afraid to consider the most distant and difficult goal as the most urgent. With this enthusiasm he proclaimed the Gospel in India, in Malacca (Malaysia), in the Moluccas (Indonesia) and in Japan. Only death stopped him when he tried to enter China, his last great missionary dream.
Father Harun first went to Jakarta in 1971, fell in love with the country and its language, and was instrumental in translating and revising scriptural texts that are still used by millions of Catholics today.
A truck carrying a year’s worth of medical supplies, vaccines, and food to the Mother of Mercy Hospital in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan, where Dr. Tom is the sole surgeon for nearly one million people, had been hijacked and raided. The clock was ticking loudly. The rainy season was less than three weeks out. Once it began, there would be no movement possible. People would die.