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.
News in Missions
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.
According to a 2015 census, more than 830,000 of Timor-Leste's 1.1 million people live in rural areas. About 78 percent of people living in urban areas have access to clean water, but only 64 percent of people do in rural areas, according to Rui de Sousa, director of Timor-Leste National Water and Sanitation Services.
The Philippines' Department of Justice has ordered the filing of charges against two ranking military men and several members of a militia group for the murder of an Italian priest in Mindanao. Father Fausto Tentorio, a member of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions who had worked with tribal people since 1978, was shot dead inside his church compound in Arakan town on Oct. 17, 2011.
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”. World Mission Sunday is one of the most special days in the global Catholic Church. It unites Catholics all over the world in prayer, mutual friendship and support; both spiritual and material. It is a celebration of grace and joy.
Father George Pattery, Jesuit provincial of South Asia, said in written statement that regional superiors had specifically vowed to respond effectively, through their ministries, to an alarming rise of fundamentalism within the region.
In recent years, we have become familiar with the term “missionary disciple” – a term that is used throughout Evangelii Gaudium (the “Joy of the Gospel”), the first of Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortations. This term is used boldly to emphasise the mutual importance of the need both for a relationship with our Lord and the need to serve him in this world by serving our brothers and sisters.
Jharkhand state in eastern India has produced an advertisement against Christian missionaries, drawing protests from Christian leaders and civil society members who see it as part of a vicious ongoing campaign. That this was being done officially by a state government was shameful, said Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, secretary-general of the Indian bishops' conference.
A British soldier turned priest who risked his life to rebuild the Church’s presence in Algeria following a spate of attacks against Christians has been appointed by Pope Francis as a bishop in the overwhelmingly Muslim country.
Catholics in southern Japan are remembering when two of their hidden communities discovered each other 150 years ago during a time of persecution. In March 1865, while Christianity was still banned in Japan, a French missionary discovered hidden Catholics in Nagasaki. For more than 200 years they had kept their faith in secret and lived without any priests.
Catholic pilgrims hoping to visit the original gravesite of St. Francis Xavier on China's Shangchuan Island on his feast day Dec. 3 will find the site closed for renovation as part of a bid for the UNESCO World Heritage listing. Pope Pius X declared Francis Xavier as a patron saint of all foreign missions.