Lettera Madre September 2019

Lettera Madre September 2019

United_Kingdom1.png My dear Sisters …

Via Aurelia, 773

My dear Sisters,
Pope Francis had already publicly announced to the whole Church (October 2017) his intention to celebrate, in the centenary of the Apostolic Letter Maximum illud, of Pope Benedict XV, issued in 1919, an entire Extraordinary Missionary Month in October 2019.
On World Mission Day of that year, he wrote:
 “The Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud called for transcending national boundaries and bearing witness, with prophetic spirit and evangelical boldness, to God’s saving will through the Church’s universal mission.
May the approaching centenary of that Letter serve as an incentive to combat the recurring temptation lurking beneath every form of ecclesial introversion, self-referential retreat into comfort zones, pastoral pessimism and sterile nostalgia for the past. Instead, may we be open to the joyful newness of the Gospel.
 In these, our troubled times, rent by the tragedies of war and menaced by the baneful tendency to accentuate differences and to incite conflict, may the Good News that in Jesus forgiveness triumphs over sin, life defeats death and love conquers fear, be proclaimed to the world with renewed fervour, and instil trust and hope in everyone”.
Pope Francis proposed that:
 “the Extraordinary Missionary Month prove an intense and fruitful occasion of grace, and promote initiatives and above all prayer, the soul of all missionary activity. May it likewise advance the preaching of the Gospel, biblical and theological reflection on the Church’s mission, works of Christian charity, and practical works of cooperation and solidarity between Churches, so that missionary zeal may revive and never be wanting among us”. (World Mission Day 2017)
In order to reignite the baptismal awareness of the People of God in relation to the mission of the Church, he provided the following theme for the Extraordinary Missionary Month:
“Baptized and sent: the Church of Christ on mission in the world”.
The Message for World Mission Day 2019 is addressed “To men and women missionaries, and to all those who, by virtue of their baptism, share in any way in the mission of the Church”.
Pope Francis advises, with particular emphasis on the ‘Trinitarian origin of mission and its fulfilment in Christ and in the church’: “Celebrating this month will help us first to rediscover the missionary dimension of our faith in Jesus Christ, a faith graciously bestowed on us in baptism. Our filial relationship with God is not something simply private, but always in relation to the Church. Through our communion with God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we, together with so many of our other brothers and sisters, are born to new life. This divine life is not a product for sale – we do not practise proselytism – but a treasure to be given, communicated and proclaimed: that is the meaning of mission. We received this gift freely and we share it freely without excluding anyone. God wills that all people be saved by coming to know the truth and experiencing his mercy through the ministry of the Church, the universal sacrament of salvation”. (Message for World Mission Day 2019))
Reawakening an awareness of the missio ad gentes, and reinvigorating the responsibility of proclaiming the Gospel with new enthusiasm, are themes which combine the pastoral concern of Pope Benedict XV in Maximum Illud with the missionary vitality expressed by Pope Francis in Evangelii Gaudium:
“missionary outreach is the paradigm for all the Church’s activity” (EG 15).
It is about placing “the mission of Jesus at the heart of the Church, making it the criterion for measuring the effectiveness of her structures, the results of her labours, the fruitfulness of her ministers, and the joy they awaken. For without joy, we attract no one”. (Meeting with CELAM Executive Committee, Bogotá, 7, September 2017).
Commitment to personal and communal conversion to Jesus Christ crucified, risen, and alive in his Church, will renew the ardour and passion for witnessing to the world the Gospel of life and Paschal joy. (cf. Lk 24:46-49)

We entrust the Church’s mission to Mary our Mother. In union with her Son, from the moment of the Incarnation the Blessed Virgin set out on her pilgrim way. She was fully involved in the mission of Jesus, a mission that became her own at the foot of the Cross: the mission of cooperating, as Mother of the Church, in bringing new sons and daughters of God to birth in the Spirit and in faith. (Message 2019)
On this feast of ‘Our Lady of Sorrows’, to whom we are consecrated, gratitude goes to each one and to each community, throughout the Congregation, who by living the charism in mission – in various forms – help to share in the ministry of the Church.
May this be grace-filled day for all; remembering especially the Sisters in the Casa dell’Addolorata and the District Our Lady of Sorrows.
Some more good news in India: we pray for the two candidates, Shatlin and Jyothi who will enter the Novitiate on 15 September – may the Lord bless them in this new formative step in the Congregation and in the Church.

A happy Feast of ‘Our Lady of Sorrows’, to all
and a blessed Extraordinary Mission Month!
God bless.
With love,

For this occasion the Congregation for Evangelization of Peoples, together with a Working Team has prepared a Guide with various indications including a thought for each day and other ideas. It is possible to use some of these texts according to the ‘make-up’ of each community.
Further information, you can find on: www.october2019.va – www.fides.org – www.ppoomm.va.




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