Mission Sunday – Evangelization – Vincentian Year How fitting these three topics come together today. Mission Sunday 2014 is celebrated on the day that Paul VI was beatified at the closing Mass of the World Synod on the Family and Vincentians have just begun a year dedicated to New Evangelization.
It was Paul VI who established the Synod of Bishops in 1965, convinced that the Pope needed “to make ever greater use of the bishops’ assistance in providing for the good of the universal Church” and to enjoy “the consolation of their presence, the help of their wisdom and experience, the support of their counsel, and the voice of their authority”.
It was he who in 1975 wrote the ground breaking encyclical Evangelii Nuntiandi, an encyclical reaffirming the laity’s role in evangelization:
“Lay people, whose particular vocation places them in the midst of the world and in charge of the most varied temporal tasks, must for this very reason exercise a very special form of evangelization. Their primary and immediate task is not to establish and develop the ecclesial community- this is the specific role of the pastors- but to put to use every Christian and evangelical possibility latent but already present and active in the affairs of the world.” (#70)
Every Pope since Paul VI has reechoed this urgent call to the laity urging them to unabashedly begin to evangelize the whole of culture and the world for Christ. This has been termed the “New Evangelization” which is principally focused on “re-proposing” the Gospel to those who have experienced a crisis of faith.
Pope Francis in so many ways is urging us to move from ‘maintenance’ to ‘mission’. But mission brings with it the requirement to emphasize personal conversion through programs which encourage individuals to integrate their faith experience into their daily lives. Message for Mission Sunday 2014
Vincentians, at the request of their various international leaders are embarking a year dedicated to New Evangelization.
Writing on behalf of international leaders Fr. Gregory Gay said ” we have decided to dedicate this coming year to the “New Evangelization.” We will do so as a Vincentian Family by focusing on three key areas of fidelity in following Jesus Christ, evangelizer and servant of the poor:
· a need for personal and communal conversion;
· a need to go beyond ourselves by listening to the cry of the poor, especially those who live on the periphery of our cities, and on the margins of society today;
· a need to evangelize and provide new ways of pastoral care for the family.
During the coming year FamVin News will be bringing you news of how the various groups related to the Vincentian Family are celebrating this year. VinFormation will make available resources we can use in our personal enrichment and in our outreach to others.
Please join by praying this prayer of the Vincentian Family (5 languages)…
Lord Jesus, you who willed to become poor,
give us eyes and a heart directed toward the poor;
help us to recognize you in them;
in their thirst, their hunger, their loneliness, and their misfortune.
Enkindle within our Vincentian Family
unity, simplicity, humility,
and the fire of love
that burned in St. Vincent de Paul.
Strengthen us, so that, faithful to the practice of these virtues,
we may contemplate you and serve you in the person of the poor,
and may one day be united with you and them in your Kingdom.
See also Gosepl Joy – Website of the International Missions of the Congregation of the Mission