Bishop’s Monthly Letter
My Dear Rev. Fathers,
With only two months, from now, to celebrate the Extra Ordinary Missionary month in October 2019 declared by our Holy Father Pope Francis, once again, I wish to request all our Clergy and the Religious and the faithful to make maximum use of this opportunity to revive at all levels our missionary orientation and zeal. We need to, repeatedly, remind ourselves that the call to mission is a call that comes with our Baptism and that it is a call to all the baptized. The Church is missionary in nature because it is born and is found in the Passover of Jesus’s death and resurrection. Therefore, the Cross, the historical and Risen life of Jesus of Nazareth and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, established the Church in a permanent state of mission. Even before the Apostolic letter of Pope Benedict XV namely “Maximum Illud” several Popes have been emphasizing the need to constantly keep the missionary dimension alive. We can easily immerse ourselves in administration and lose sight of the important missionary mandate given by the Lord to all of us. Our Supreme Pontiff has strong words on this matter in his Apostolic Exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium” no 33 “Pope Francis says “There is among the Baptized both faithful and pastors, a certain widespread missionary weariness that the Ecclesial self-referentiality of certain local Churches in addition to the bureaucratic-Clerical introversion of pastoral administrative activity, which seems to structure the life of many institutions which end up in maintaining the “STATUS QUO”, according to the criterion of ‘It has been always done like this’ ”. We have to therefore, think afresh of all our activities , structures and ways of doing things including our Parish celebrations to ensure that our missionary orientation is given utmost priority. Witnessing to Jesus risen from the dead and now with the Father, remains the special task as the mission of the Church. Let us therefore, prepare ourselves to celebrate the Extraordinary missionary month by awakening our faithful at all levels namely in our parish community, associations and movements , parish council and through “Daham Pasal” catechetical programs in the coming weeks. In the context of our country, which is going through a time of uncertainty as regards our political , religious and social realities, we Christians are called upon more than ever before to proclaim and witness to Jesus and the Gospel. I wish to therefore exhort all our parish priests and Heads of Religious Institutions not to let this occasion be missed out and do our maximum to reignite our ardor and passion for the mission of Jesus Christ. Above all we are invited to confirm our Baptismal identity in a personal encounter with the living person of Jesus Christ who invites us to be his witnesses in the present situation. We have to heed the call of the Supreme Pontiff and go beyond our normal parish activities and celebration of Sacraments to empower our people with the passion for Jesus and the Gospel. This is indispensable, if we are to receive a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit as at Pentecost when the early Christian community emerged as a blazing fire to proclaim and witness to the risen Saviour. I wish all of you God’s blessings and the guidance of the Holy Spirit in preparing our communities to revive the missionary fervour of our Diocese.
With prayerful wishes and blessings,
Yours devotedly in the Lord,
Bishop Vianney Fernando,
Bishop of Kandy.
Bishop’s Engagements in August
1st -10.30 am -Diaconate of two Redemptorist Scholastics at Sancta Maria
2nd to 5th – St. Benedict’s Monastery, Makkiad in India to attend the Abbatial blessing of the first Asian Abbot- Elect Rt. Rev. Anthony OSB.
6th to 8th -CBCSL meetings in Colombo
10th – 8.30 am -25th Anniversary and Certificate awarding ceremony at Cholankanda Youth Centre
11th – 9.30 am -Feast of St, Anne at Holy Cross Church, Hatton
12th – 10.00 am -Presbyteral Council Meeting – 12.00 noon -Requiem Mass for the souls of Dr & Mrs. Daviot donors of St. John Mary Vianney Clergy House at Bishop’s Office Chapel
– 3.00 pm – Episcopal Council Meeting
14th – 10.00 am – Confirmation Service at Mattakelle Parish
17th – 9.00 am – Confirmation Service at Peradeniya Parish
-7.00 pm – Vespers at St. Anthony’s Shrine, Wahacotte
18th – 8.30 am – Second Feast at St. Anthony’s Shrine, Wahakotte
19th– 24th – Annual Clergy Retreat at Lewella
29th – 6.30 pm – SETIK, Advisory Board Meeting
31st – 9.30 am – Wedding Mass of an employee of the Laity Centre
A SPEACIAL SEMINAR ON THE EXTRA ORDINARY MONTH OF MISSION OCTOBER— 2019 “Baptized and Sent” for Kandy and Matale Deanery
Date : 31st August 2019
Place : Family and Laity Apostolate Auditorium, Gatambe
Time : 9.00 am
All ARE WELCOME
Father Barry Saylor, who was ordained June 30, 2018, by Bishop William Callahan for the Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin, relies on prayer as he learns more and more about being a priest.
Learning to Be a Priest: On-the-Job Training and Assignments Offer Valuable Lessons
Looking at the practical side of newly ordained diocesan priests’ supernatural vocation. Joseph O’Brien. Summer is a time for rest, vacation, chores around the house and — for newly ordained diocesan priests throughout the United States — traditionally a time to settle in to their first assignments as ordained ministers of Christ.
The various challenges and rewards of their previous life as seminarians have given way for these new priests to the struggles and achievements in persona Christi engaged in parish life. But these rookie clergy don’t go into their new assignments unprepared. Seminary studies, especially their practicums and study of canon law, have sufficiently helped prepare them for their work; their pastors and other veteran priests welcoming them into the brotherhood provide guidance and wisdom; and their own trial-and-error experiences also serve to mentor them in their work. Such lessons on how to hone the craft and deepen their understanding of their priesthood never end — and even veteran priests learn through the various levels of pastoral work in a parish.
Because the Church recognizes that the priesthood is a constant sacramental calling by and to Christ, it provides, through the same canon law these priests studied in seminary, an important touchstone for understanding not only the legal rights and duties of the priesthood but in a certain sense the very reason for the priesthood. Why and Wherefore No matter the assignment and no matter the priest, according to Benedict Nguyen, a canon lawyer and theological adviser to the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Texas, the work of the Church that the ordained priesthood accomplishes is carefully delineated by canon law to help priests understand their proper work — and proper calling to that work — especially in relation to those they serve.
“The amazing thing about Catholic canon law as it appears in the 1983 Code of Canon Law is that, in addition to legislating and giving rights and duties, it also oftentimes exhorts and teaches,” he said. “This can be seen in a large number of places in the code, but dramatically so in the beautiful canons on the duties of a pastor (Canons 528-532). There the code lays out the duties of a pastor, in terms of his teaching, sanctifying and governing duties — that is, his duties as prophet, priest and king (see Canons 528 and 530-532), since it is Jesus Christ’s priesthood that he shares.”
Canon law also makes clear, Nguyen noted, that a priest lives for others in the Church. For instance, he said, “Canon 529 teaches that the duties and rights of a priest exist because he is in relation, that is, in communion with the various people that he serves, with the presbyterate of the diocese (his brother priests), and especially with the diocesan bishop. In other words, the code here is not just saying, ‘Do this and do that’ — it is brilliantly bringing to mind why a pastor is exercising his ministry.”
Parochial Vicar Nguyen noted that priests can be assigned to parishes in three distinct yet related ways: as parochial vicar, parochial administrator or pastor. A newly ordained priest is often assigned as a parochial vicar, Nguyen told the Register, although many dioceses refer to this role as assistant pastor or associate pastor.
In any case, the priest who fulfills this role reports to the pastor as to a mentor, but also shares as a collaborator in the pastor’s care for the parish.
“One of the main differences according to canon law between a pastor and parochial vicar,” Nguyen said, “is that, unlike a pastor, the office of a parochial vicar does not carry with it a stability of office. That is, he can be removed by the bishop for any just cause (Canon 552), such as his ministry being needed in another place.”
For the past year, Father Barry Saylor has served as a parochial vicar at St. John Parish in Marshfield and Christ the King Parish in Spencer, Wisconsin. He was ordained June 30, 2018, by Bishop William Callahan for the Diocese of La Crosse.
According to Father Saylor, his role as parochial vicar has helped better prepare him for his priestly work. In fact, he quickly learned that being a parochial vicar often means being versatile and quick on one’s feet, a lesson that practically met him at the rectory door when he first reported for duty after ordination.
“My first day, I still remember, when I moved here, which was a Thursday — I was told that Friday I would have confessions at 6:30am and Mass at 7am,” he said. “Since that first day, my comfort zone has expanded many times.”
Before becoming a priest, Father Saylor already had some good basic training on how to tackle assignments: He spent nine years in the U.S. Army’s counterintelligence operations, enlisting for a four-year stint from 1986 to 1990 and again from 2000 to 2005. After attending officer training school, he retired from the Army as a lieutenant colonel.
What the military has instilled in him, he said, is exactly the sort of thing that his work as parochial vicar is also teaching him. “One of the things the Army taught me well is that change is good, and you learn something from everyone you come into contact with,” he said. “The way to look at it is not to see change as a negative, but as an opportunity to see what kind of priest you want to be and what kind of priest you don’t want to be.”
In his capacity as parochial vicar, Father Saylor has also relied on the mentoring wisdom of Father Samuel Martin, his pastor until Father Martin recently took on a new assignment in the diocese.
“If I could be half the priest Father Martin is, I think I’ll be a great priest,” he said. “One of the things Father Martin taught me the most is that as a priest you don’t make a decision on the spot, but you always take it to prayer. Everyone who knows Father Martin knows that when he’s made a decision, it’s a decision he’s prayed on — and that’s one of the hardest things for me to do, because I tend to want to make a decision, get it behind me and move on. But through seeing how things developed for him in a given situation, its shown me how important prayer is in any decision I make.”
Parochial Administrator If the work of parochial vicar is well suited to grooming newly ordained priests in their priesthood with the help of experience and mentors, the role of parochial administrator can often provide a priest with a whole new set of experiences. “A pastor is envisioned to be assigned as the stable, primary shepherd to care for the flock of the parish,” Nguyen said. “A parochial administrator, however, is understood to be a priest who has a temporary governance over the parish until a pastor can be stably appointed. In other words, he is envisioned to be a sort of temporary or interim administrator.”
Because of this distinction, Nguyen said, canon law gives a parochial administrator “the same rights and duties as a pastor” but “does not permit the parochial administrator to do anything which can ‘prejudice the rights of the pastor or can harm parochial goods.’ Basically, this means that a parochial administrator should only keep things going and not make any decisions or undertake any initiatives that would bind the pastor who is to be appointed.” Father Jonathan Perrotta was ordained a priest June 11, 2011, by Bishop Earl Boyea for the Diocese of Lansing, Michigan. He was first assigned to Holy Family Parish in Grand Blanc as parochial vicar for three years and then parochial administrator for the final year of this assignment; he then served for the first time as a pastor at St. Mary and St. Joseph Parish in Durand and Gaines for three years before being named pastor of St. Robert Bellarmine Parish in Flushing and Good Shepherd Parish in Montrose.
In his work as parochial administrator at Holy Family, Father Perrotta told the Register, “I did not have all the rights of a pastor, but I had the authority to run the parish day to day, including staffing and financial decisions.” As parochial administrator, Father Perrotta said that he was able to hone his leadership skills, especially in preparing and leading parish liturgies, including Mass, baptisms and funerals, and also in his preparation and delivery of homilies. “I also grew in my priesthood,” he said, “in my comfort at stepping into situations where people look to you to take a leadership role in some way, often only partially prepared, and in getting to know the people of God in my parish and the diocese.” Place Prayers Frist But Father Perrotta said that he has been careful not to get so lost in the work of his pastoral assignments that he forgets the most important task of any priest: growing ever closer to Christ. He offers new priests the same advice that he has integrated into his own priesthood.
“Never forget that you in your priesthood are a blessing to the Church and world,” Father Perrotta said, “and Jesus has invited you into an intimate friendship with himself.”
That friendship includes the quotidian work of pastoring, Father Perrotta added, but it begins with prayer.
“Place your daily prayer life first,” he said, adding, “Fight for this time, and when you fail, receive Jesus’ mercy. Don’t let the rest of your responsibilities and interests crowd out your time with God. Don’t let what is a supernatural calling, and ultimately only fruitful if it’s in Jesus, become something else.
Taken from: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/learning-to-be-a-priest-on-the-job-training -and-assignments-offer-valuable-
“But, above all, as we have already said, it is a holy life that is indispensable f or those who are getting ready for the apostolate. Indeed, it is necessary that the one who preaches God be, in fact, a man of God”. – Maximum Illud –
St. Joseph Vaz, an Indian missionary in Sri Lanka
Saint Joseph Vaz was a great missionary of the Gospel and in his testimony “we see an eloquent sign of God’s goodness and love for the people of Sri Lanka,” as Pope Francis stated during the homily for his canonization.
An Oratorian priest, Saint Joseph Vaz was born in India in the territory of Goa on April 21, 1651 into a Christian family with a Portuguese surname. It was certainly the fervor of the faith that animated his house and matured José’s priestly vocation. This fervor even continued after Fr. Vaz’s death, seeing as all his nephews became priests as well. Ordained in 1676, he returned to his native village and began to exercise his priestly ministry. Following his missionary zeal, Fr. Vaz wanted to go to Ceylon about which, in the meantime, he discovered the sad reality. However, he was assigned the task of preaching in the cathedral and dedicating himself to the service of confession and spiritual direction. The diocesan authorities then sent him to Kanara, in the territory of the Archdiocese of Goa, where the Holy See had erected an Apostolic Vicariate torn by a sad dispute over responsibilities and jurisdictions.
When he left the post of Apostolic Vicar in 1684, the painful situation could be said to have been resolved. Fr. Vaz then felt even stronger the desire to become part of a religious order. However, at that time religious orders were only open to candidates of European origin. Thus, with the permission of the Archbishop of Goa, he joined three Indian priests who had begun an experience of community life at the Church of the Holy Cross of Miracles on Mount Boa Vista.
Elected Superior, he became the founder of an authentic community to which he gave a clear spiritual physiognomy and a juridical form that allowed them to officially establish its existence. The holy reputation of the Boa Vista priests quickly spread, and driven by the missionary fervor of Fr. Vaz, they soon added to the ministry in their Church an intense apostolate in the countryside. A Bull of Clement XI, dated November 26, 1706, confirmed the establishment of the community and praised its work. Fr. Vaz felt that the time had come to respond to the never-ending vocation in favor of the increasingly abandoned Catholics of Ceylon. Having laid down his habit, he adopted the habit of slaves and beggars and after a few months of hard work, he managed to land on the coast of Ceylon.
He fell ill there immediately and for a few days, he was laying on the side of the road. He would have died of hardship if it wasn’t for some women who helped him by giving him some food. Despite the fear of being discovered, he began the search for Catholics, who had outwardly for the most part taken on Calvinist customs under the lash of persecution and dared not reveal themselves. Fr. Vaz then adopted a courageous method: he placed the crown of the rosary around his neck, on the bare chest of a beggar, and began to knock from door to door begging for alms. He noticed someone who looked with interest at that sign of Catholic piety, so he began with a family and when he was sure of its members’ loyalty, he revealed his own identity.
This was the beginning of the re-evangelization of the island. It continued with the midnight celebration of Mass and listening to those who turned to him for Confession and spiritual dialogue. Wanting to cut off the revival of evangelization, the governor awarded great compensation to those who handed over the priest. But no one betrayed Fr. Vaz, who was indeed safe while the wrath of the Calvinists was unleashed against the Catholic faithful. Fr. Vaz fled to the small state of Kandy, in the inner part of the island and still formally autonomous, ruled by King Vilamadharma Surya.
Many Catholics who had never met a priest lived in the state, and Calvinist agents who had heard of the arrival of the religious, spread false rumors that he was a Portuguese spy.
The plan worked: as soon as he arrived in Kandy, Fr. Vaz was imprisoned. However, despite being a Buddhist, the King did not approve of the imprisonment of a foreigner of such a profoundly spiritual nature. Through the testimony of his guards, he learned about the prisoner’s sanctity of life and became his friend, transmitting to his son and successor, Narendrasinha, the veneration with which he treated the Catholic priest. Fr. Vaz thus had the opportunity to preach and spread the faith throughout the kingdom, walking by foot through its territory and restoring the presence of the Church everywhere.
The smallpox epidemic that broke out in 1697, witnessed by the King himself, would have completely destroyed the population if Fr. Vaz’s charity and intelligence had not provided treatment for the sick and instructed them in hygienic standards that, in fact, contained the infection. When Fr. Vaz died, ten missionaries worked in those lands, imbued with his spirit and prepared to continue the work in which he also formed lay people, entrusting them with the care of many dispersed communities.
In 1732, Pope Benedict XIV authorized the introduction of the canonical process for his beatification. On January 14, 2015, the Holy Father Pope Francis proclaimed him a saint. In his homily, the Pope indicated three essential points: “He was an exemplary priest […] Secondly, Saint Joseph shows us the importance of transcending religious divisions in the service of peace. His undivided love for God opened him to love for his neighbor; he ministered to those in need, whoever and wherever they were. […] Saint Joseph gives us an example of missionary zeal. Though he came to Ceylon to minister to the Catholic community, in his evangelical charity he reached out to everyone. Leaving behind his home, his family, the comfort of his familiar surroundings, he responded to the call to go forth, to speak of Christ wherever he was led.”
Taken From : http://www.october2019.va/en/testimoni/i – testimoni/st – joseph – vaz – an – indian – missionary – in – sri lanka.html
Practical Personal Effectiveness (NELSON MANDELA)
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves: Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. — We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in every one. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. ——————————————————— Those who go to the temple/ church regularly, Those who worship and make offerings to the Lord, Those who put marks on their forehead, Those who mutter prayers to the Lord, Those who wear beads and recite the beads, DO NOT GROW SPIRITUALLY
ONLY THOSE WHO ARE LOVING AND COMPASSIONATE AND SERVE OTHERS SELFLESSLY WILL GROW Sent by
Fr. Bala Rajendram
Message from His Holiness Pope Franics
For World Mission Day 2019
Dear Brothers and Sisters, For the month of October 2019, I have asked that the whole Church revive her missionary awareness and commitment as we commemorate the centenary of the Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud of Pope Benedict XV (30 November 1919). Its farsighted and prophetic vision of the apostolate has made me realize once again the importance of renewing the Church’s missionary commitment and giving fresh evangelical impulse to her work of preaching and bringing to the world the salvation of Jesus Christ, who died and rose again. The title of the present Message is the same as that of October’s Missionary Month: Baptized and Sent: The Church of Christ on Mission in the World. 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 (cf. Mt10:8), 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 (cf. 1 Tim 2:4; Lumen Gentium, 48).
The Church is on mission in the world. Faith in Jesus Christ enables us to see all things in their proper perspective, as we view the world with God’s own eyes and heart. Hope opens us up to the eternal horizons of the divine life that we share. Charity, of which we have a foretaste in the sacraments and in fraternal love, impels us to go forth to the ends of the earth (cf. Mic 5:4; Mt28:19; Acts 1:8; Rom 10:18). A Church that presses forward to the farthest frontiers requires a constant and ongoing missionary conversion. How many saints, how many men and women of faith, witness to the fact that this unlimited openness, this going forth in mercy, is indeed possible and realistic, for it is driven by love and its deepest meaning as gift, sacrifice and gratuitousness (cf. 2 Cor 5:14-21)! The man who preaches God must be a man of God (cf. Maximum Illud).
This missionary mandate touches us personally: I am a mission, always; you are a mission, always; every baptized man and woman is a mission. People in love never stand still: they are drawn out of themselves; they are attracted and attract others in turn; they give themselves to others and build relationships that are life-giving. As far as God’s love is concerned, no one is useless or insignificant. Each of us is a mission to the world, for each of us is the fruit of God’s love. Even if parents can betray their love by lies, hatred and infidelity, God never takes back his gift of life. From eternity he has destined each of his children to share in his divine and eternal life (cf. Eph 1:3-6).
This life is bestowed on us in baptism, which grants us the gift of faith in Jesus Christ, the conqueror of sin and death. Baptism gives us rebirth in God’s own image and likeness, and makes us members of the Body of Christ, which is the Church. In this sense, baptism is truly necessary for salvation for it ensures that we are always and everywhere sons and daughters in the house of the Father, and never orphans, strangers or slaves. What in the Christian is a sacramental reality – whose fulfillment is found in the Eucharist – remains the vocation and destiny of every man and woman in search of conversion and salvation. For baptism fulfils the promise of the gift of God that makes everyone a son or daughter in the Son. We are children of our natural parents, but in baptism we receive the origin of all fatherhood and true motherhood: no one can have God for a Father who does not have the Church for a mother (cf. Saint Cyprian, De Cath. Eccl., 6).
Our mission, then, is rooted in the fatherhood of God and the motherhood of the Church. The mandate given by the Risen Jesus at Easter is inherent in Baptism: as the Father has sent me, so I send you, filled with the Holy Spirit, for the reconciliation of the world (cf. Jn 20:19-23; Mt 28:16-20). This mission is part of our identity as Christians; it makes us responsible for enabling all men and women to realize their vocation to be adoptive children of the Father, to recognize their personal dignity and to appreciate the intrinsic worth of every human life, from conception until natural death. Today’s rampant secularism, when it becomes an aggressive cultural rejection of God’s active fatherhood in our history, is an obstacle to authentic human fraternity, which finds expression in reciprocal respect for the life of each person. Without the God of Jesus Christ, every difference is reduced to a baneful threat, making impossible any real fraternal acceptance and fruitful unity within the human race.
The universality of the salvation offered by God in Jesus Christ led Benedict XV to call for an end to all forms of nationalism and ethnocentrism, or the merging of the preaching of the Gospel with the economic and military interests of the colonial powers. In his Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud, the Pope noted that the Church’s universal mission requires setting aside exclusivist ideas of membership in one’s own country and ethnic group. The opening of the culture and the community to the salvific newness of Jesus Christ requires leaving behind every kind of undue ethnic and ecclesial introversion. Today too, the Church needs men and women who, by virtue of their baptism, respond generously to the call to leave behind home, family, country, language and local Church, and to be sent forth to the nations, to a world not yet transformed by the sacraments of Jesus Christ and his holy Church. By proclaiming God’s word, bearing witness to the Gospel and celebrating the life of the Spirit, they summon to conversion, baptize and offer Christian salvation, with respect for the freedom of each person and in dialogue with the cultures and religions of the peoples to whom they are sent. The missio ad gentes, which is always necessary for the Church, thus contributes in a fundamental way to the process of ongoing conversion in all Christians. Faith in the Easter event of Jesus; the ecclesial mission received in baptism; the geographic and cultural detachment from oneself and one’s own home; the need for salvation from sin and liberation from personal and social evil: all these demand the mission that reaches to the very ends of the earth.
The providential coincidence of this centenary year with the celebration of the Special Synod on the Churches in the Amazonallows me to emphaze how the mission entrusted to us by Jesus with the gift of his Spirit is also timely and necessary for those lands and their peoples. A renewed Pentecost opens wide the doors of the Church, in order that no culture remain closed in on itself and no people cut off from the universal communion of the faith. No one ought to remain closed in self-absorption, in the selfreferentiality of his or her own ethnic and religious affiliation. The Easter event of Jesus breaks through the narrow limits of worlds, religions and cultures, calling them to grow in respect for the dignity of men and women, and towards a deeper conversion to the truth of the Risen Lord who gives authentic life to all.
Here I am reminded of the words of Pope Benedict XVI at the beginning of the meeting of Latin American Bishops at Aparecida, Brazil, in 2007. I would like to repeat these words and make them my own: “Yet what did the acceptance of the Christian faith mean for the nations of Latin America and the Caribbean? For them, it meant knowing and welcoming Christ, the unknown God whom their ancestors were seeking, without realizing it, in their rich religious traditions. Christ is the Saviour for whom they were silently longing. It also meant that they received, in the waters of Baptism, the divine life that made them children of God by adoption; moreover, they received the Holy Spirit who came to make their cultures fruitful, purifying them and developing the numerous seeds that the incarnate Word had planted in them, thereby guiding them along the paths of the Gospel… The Word of God, in becoming flesh in Jesus Christ, also became history and culture. The utopia of going back to breathe life into the pre-Columbian religions, separating them from Christ and from the universal Church, would not be a step forward: indeed, it would be a step back. In reality, it would be a retreat towards a stage in history anchored in the past” (Address at the Inaugural Session, 13 May 2007: Insegnamenti III, 1 , 855-856).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.
I would like to conclude with a brief word about the Pontifical Mission Societies, already proposed in Maximum Illud as a missionary resource. The Pontifical Mission Societies serve the Church’s universality as a global network of support for the Pope in his missionary commitment by prayer, the soul of mission, and charitable offerings from Christians throughout the world. Their donations assist the Pope in the evangelization efforts of particular Churches (the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith), in the formation of local clergy (the Pontifical Society of Saint Peter the Apostle), in raising missionary awareness in children (Pontifical Society of Missionary Childhood) and in encouraging the missionary dimension of Christian faith (Pontifical Missionary Union). In renewing my support for these Societies, I trust that the extraordinary Missionary Month of October 2019 will contribute to the renewal of their missionary service to my ministry. 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, I send my heartfelt blessing. From the Vatican, 9 June 2019, Solemnity of Pentecost
FRANCIS Taken from : http://www.october2019.va/en/messaggio-giornata-missionaria-2019.html
Pope Francis announced the Extraordinary Missionary Month October 2019 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Pope Benedict XV’s Apostolic Letter “Maximum Illud”
Pope Francis announced the Extraordinary Missionary Month October 2019 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Pope Benedict XV’s Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud. “Baptized and Sent: The Church of Christ on Mission in the World” is the theme chosen by Pope Francis for the Extraordinary Mission Month. Awakening the awareness of the missio ad gentes, and reinvigorating the sense of responsibility for proclaiming the Gospel with new enthusiasm, are themes that combine the pastoral concern of Pope Benedict XV in his Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud, published 100 years ago, with the missionary vitality expressed by Pope Francis in his recent Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium: “Missionary action is the paradigm of every work of the Church.” (EG 15)
There are four dimensions, specified by the Pope, to live more intensely the journey of preparation for the Extraordinary Missionary Month October 2019: 1. A personal encounter with Jesus Christ alive in His Church through the Eucharist, the Word of God, personal and communal prayer; 2. Testimony: missionary saints, martyrs and confessors of the faith, as an expression of the Church scattered throughout the world; 3. Missionary formation: biblical, catechetical, spiritual and theological; Missionary charity. In 1622, the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith – Propaganda Fide – was created by Pope Gregory XV for promoting and directing the work of evangelization and of the missionary efforts of the Church. In 1967, Pope St. Paul VI reaffirmed the validity of its apostolic service and gave the Dicastery a new name: The Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (CEP). All of the baptized, through the real efficacy of the Christian Faith expressed in active charity, are responsible for the mission of the Church, supporting the Holy Father in his mission as Universal Shepherd. The Pontifical Mission Societies The Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) are committed to promoting and supporting the missionary efforts of the Church through prayer, self-sacrifice, and missionary vocations. They were born from a deep concern for the missions of both laity and clergy in the19th and 20th centuries. The Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (CEP) together with the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) are currently reinforcing their “efforts to collect and distribute material aid in the light of [their] mission and the formation that this requires, so that missionary integrity, awareness, and responsibility can once again be part of the ordinary life of the entire holy and faithful People of God.” (Address of his Holiness Pope Francis to the National Directors of the Pontifical Mission Societies, June 1st, 2018). Taken from : https://zenit.org
Prayer proposed by Pope Francis for the Extraordinary Missionary Month October 2019
Heavenly Father, when your only begotten Son Jesus Christ rose from the dead, he commissioned his followers to “go and make disciples of all nations” and you remind us that through our Baptism we are made sharers in the mission of the Church. Empower us by the gifts of the Holy Spirit to be courageous and zealous in bearing witness to the Gospel, so that the mission entrusted to the Church, which is still very far from completion, may find new and efficacious expressions that bring life and light to the world. Help us make it possible for all peoples to experience the saving love and mercy of Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, One God, forever and ever. Amen.
06th – Tue – Rt. Rev. Dr. Vianney Fernando
10th – Sat – Rev. Fr. Newman Peiris
12th – Mon – Rev. Fr. Roy Clarence
22nd – Thu – Rev. Fr. Jude Angelo Peiris
01st – Thu – Rev. Fr. Edward Christy Fernando
02nd – Fri – Rev. Fr. Edwin Rodrigo
03rd – Sat – Rev. Fr. Ivan Jayasundera
04th – Sun – Rev. Fr. Hilarion Fernando, OSB
05th – Mon – Rev. Fr. Anthony Cross Xavier – Rev. Fr. Emil Joseph, OSB
08th – Thu – Rev. Fr. Henry Bernard Wijeratne, OSB
10th – Sat – Rev. Fr. Newman Peiris
11th – Sun – Rev. Fr. Michael Sandanam, OSB
12th – Mon – Rev. Fr. Jude Angelo Peiris 2
9th – Thu – Rev. Fr. Nerio Abraham
04th – Sun – Rev. Fr. Gabbelin, OSB
11th – Sun – Rev. Fr. Leo Singolani, OSB
13th – Tue – Rt. Rev. Dr. Bernard Regno, OSB – Rev. Fr. Henry Ponnasamy, OSB
25th – Sun – Rev. Fr. Timothy Amerasinghe, OSB
28th – Wed – Rev. Fr. Patrick Mackiaweli, OSB
30th – Fri – Rev. Fr. Clement Marie, OSB