With a heart for the mission, many people from parishes and other milieus across the diocese gathered to take part in diocesan “roadwork” meetings held October 9, 10 and 11. In his address, Archbishop Lépine emphasized the importance of the Mission.
Following the missionary launch initiated by our Archbishop on the evening of September 14th, 2018, pastors, mandated personnel, community members (volunteers), and members of movements, associations and religious communities who have the mission at heart in diocesan milieus were invited to participate in working groups. They turned out in large numbers to participate and to have their voices heard, giving rise to some fruitful discussions!
During his address, Most Rev. Lépine stressed the importance of the Mission, particularly for the 2018-2019 pastoral year.
Here are 10 points made by the Archbishop that invite us to further reflection:
1. The only mission we are invited to is that of the Son who came to earth to save us. This Mission is to be of service to humanity and to build up a Church that is also at the service of humanity. Jesus invites us to participate in the mission: he is the first missionary because he is the first evangelizer: he does not impose on us, but trusts us to help him.
2. Why the Mission? Because the Mission remains the very essence of the Church. Despite the difficulties and the challenges of evangelizing in the modern world, the very nature of our Church is missionary. In fact, God precedes us in this mission: by the power of the crucifixion, the resurrection, the Love of Christ on the cross, he calls us to be missionary.
3. Pope Francis proclaimed the month of October 2019 to be the extraordinary month of the mission: let us prepare ourselves and answer the Pope’s call: the entire people of God must take up the responsibility of missionary work!
4. Jesus crucified and resurrected has the power to touch the heart of each and every person, no matter their history, situation, hopes or failures. We are all called:
- To be touched by the Love of God and to participate in His Mission: touching the hearts of Men.
- To evangelize in the heart of poverty… in all its forms.
- To join this missionary project and to work toward missionary transformation.
5. The mission is always changing: often considered a far-off reality, in other parts of the world, we must understand that in fact, it starts in Montreal, in our own streets. Canada is missionary territory.
6. The Mission has always existed and will always exist: in the past when Jesus preceded us in the Mission, now, and until the end of the world whenever Jesus acts in us. The Mission must be part of our being, our actions, our way of speaking, of being with others, of seeing.
7. The Mission is a gift. Jesus precedes us in the Mission but he is also with us in this mission. Without Him the Mission would be impossible. “Without me you can do nothing”. When Jesus sends us on mission, He works in us and we are called to trust in the grace of God. Rooted in Jesus Christ, we are called to be transformed so as to participate with Him in His Mission.
8. We must know how to be amazed by the Mission and jump in! We must of course be formed for the mission, but this is so great a task, that it is beyond us and we will never really be ready. The Mission prepares us for itself and renews us!
9. We are called to evangelize ourselves, to rediscover how much we need Jesus Christ in our own personal lives. By evangelizing ourselves we will be able to evangelize the world we live in. By being attentive to our own thirst for God we will be attentive the thirst of others.
10. We are called to be missionaries together in order to undertake this shift with joy and confidence. Together we will be able to pray and discern; we will be able to understand the joys and sorrows of the human heart, count on one another, on all of our talents, and on the vision of each one of us.
The 330 participants of the missionary days were encouraged by our Archbishop’s words and strengthened for their mission. The next step for our diocesan worksite will provide an opportunity to concretely develop the “together on mission” by way of dialogue and coming to understand the different situations that are present in the field.
Join us on every step of this project!