CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 23 February 2019

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Self doubt essential to moving forward Maryknoll symposium suggests

CHICAGO (SE): Running under the title, Church in Mission: Yesterday, today and tomorrow, the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers hosted a symposium as part of their centenary of foundation celebrations at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, the United States of America (US) from October 6 to 8.

Expressing a deep desire to using the centenary not to glory in any past achievements, but to contribute to the growth of mission into the future, around 300 missionaries were invited to take part in the three-day symposium to reflect deeply on the Mission of God and the role that apostolic societies, like Maryknoll, can play in that mission.

Redemptorist Father Robert Schreiter proposed four models of mission that he suggested may capture the imagination and commitment of the current generation, which is entrusted with this mission to the nations for decades to come.

He spoke of Mission ad extra, which he described as going out from the familiar, as well as Mission ad altera, reaching out to the other, Mission ad altu, to the deep, where new social spaces are calling for a new evangelisation, and Mission ad vulnera, mission to the wounded.

Father Schreiter added that this calls for a tremendous effort to keep mission relevant, as imagining new models involves challenging the human imagine into forming new concepts, while at the same time connecting them with the old.

Maryknoll Sister Nonie Gutzler added another dimension by suggesting a fifth model, Mission inter gentes, mission among the nations. She suggested that we need to pray for the grace of self doubt, so that we can be open to recognising the turning point in our journey of faith-seeking understanding.

“Are we happy missioners?” she asked. “Are we peace-filled people; are we passionate in pursuit of justice? Are we—women and men—in true partnership with all people of good will to further good news for all? It is the manifestation of these characteristics that come from Jesus that attracts people to the gospel.”

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