Are you Fit For Mission?
Pope Francis encouraged all baptised Catholics to be missionary disciples – to proclaim the Word of the gospel across all peoples.
“ I have a dream. I dream of a ‘missionary Church’, so that all her structures can be used for the evangelization of today’s world rather than for her own self-preservation.”
-Evangelii Gaudium, 27 (On the Proclamation of the Gospel in Today’s Word), Pope Francis, 2013.
Watch this video: Pope Francis encourages us to be the Missionary Church.
Being a Missionary Disciple
In order to engage every Catholic in the diocese to reach out to bring the Good News and the love of Jesus to ALL, the Catholic diocese of Auckland urges all diocesan apostolates, parishes, schools and individuals to become missionary disciples.
At its assembly held in Christchurch in September 2018, keynote speaker Fr. James Mallon of Halifax, Canada spoke to the NZ diocesan priests to explore what he calls “divine renovation” – to look at new ways, new programmes, new models of engaging in missionary work.
Why do we need to look at new ways of Mission?
In the wide net, there seem to be a deep misunderstanding about: God, about the way the bible is to be read, about the relationship between Faith and Reason (Religion and Science) and about the Church.
We as the baptised Catholics need to strengthen our Faith in order to know Jesus better and to Love Him. We need to reach out to those Catholics who have left the Church and have become the ‘Nones’. We need to reach out to those who do not know Jesus, and to those who hunger to know Jesus.
The Mission of the Church is:
The similar message was delivered by Bishop Pat at his meetings held throughout the Auckland diocese in March 2019, urging parish priests, pastoral councillors, school teachers, sacramental and pastoral workers, youth leaders and members of the Auckland catholic community to adapt from being a maintenance to a missional people of Jesus’ message of Love. To become missional is to be equipped and formed missionary disciples.
Bishop Pat spoke in order to become missionary disciples, we need to follow the command that Our Lord had given to St Francis of Asisi:
What to do as missionary disciples?
- Reach out to those outside or distant from our communities
- Proclaim and share the Word
- Welcome new and returning members
Pastoral Areas for Mission
- Work collaboratively across community boundaries
- Build stronger links among schools, parishes, and families
Leadership for Mission
- Promote shared and co-responsible leadership among clergy and laity
- Acknowledge and celebrate lay leadership
- Support our bishop and clergy
Communication for Mission
- Share the Good News by all means and in all modes
- Create a sense of belonging
- Encourage life-long faith learning
Bishop Pat Reflects on Fit for Mission Pastoral Plan
So how can we equip ourselves?
There are so many ideas about how to be equipped to become Missionary Disciples that sometimes the question is where do we begin?
Here is a list of possible initiatives to start the discussions. Don’t be scared to adapt and modify as suits your situation