Pontifical Mission Societies—One Family in Mission Office of Mission Education for the New Evangelization Archdiocese of Chicago Volume 5 Issue 1 - December 2013
MISSION MATTERS Farewell From Sr. Madge
From the Director
With this issue of Mission Matters I say good-bye to all of you. On November 18th I moved to South Africa to take up the ministry of President of St. Augustine College.
Dear brothers and sisters,
During my almost six years of working in the mission office of the Archdiocese of Chicago, I have devoted my time to the work of the Pontifical Mission Societies and promoting mission education. It has been both challenging and rewarding. I have had the opportunity to collaborate with several missionary congregations and groups. It has been very inspiring for me and we shared a wonderful spirit of solidarity in mission. My life has been enriched by these gatherings. Pope Francis is trying to awaken the spirit of mission in all of us in the Church. We live our Catholic faith best when we bear witness to the difference Christ makes in our lives because then we become attractive and compelling instruments of God’s love for all people. Be on mission wherever you are! Please keep me in your prayers and pray for the success of St. Augustine’s. I leave you in the capable hands of Edwin Rondán, the new director of the Office of Mission Education for the New Evangelization. With you on mission,
My name is Edwin Rondán; I would like to start by quoting a saying which you might already have heard many times: “God’s plan is different than our plans.” During my life in Peru, Kenya, South Sudan, Palestine and Chicago, I have experienced that my plans were not always God’s plans. Some experiences are exciting and others can be frustrating, but at the end accepting God’s plan in our lives makes us joyful even though we go through difficult moments. Furthermore, missionaries of biblical times, those men and women sent by God, teach us that mission always comes as a second step, following a first and fundamental encounter with God. Only those who meet God and have become passionate about God do mission. Mission, as we know, is God’s initiative. God himself is the one who gives rise to mission: He is the one who calls, who raises witnesses, who opens the eyes of his messengers to see a human history that needs to be reshaped and passionately embraced; a history that needs to be shaped according to his own plan with his eyes and heart. Mission, therefore, follows the discovery and the surprise of God’s presence in one’s own life. The personal story of any of us as missionaries is, in one way or another, the story of a witness, the story of a life encounter. Mission, therefore, means to proclaim the Christ we have met, we love and live for. The message of mission does not begin when we have learned what to say or what to do, but when we (continued on next page)
(continued from page 1)
can present the God we have met as credible. Until that time, when God becomes a personal “you” who enters our lives and takes up space, time and priority, it will be difficult to be passionate about true mission. I would like to thank Sr. Madge for sharing her personal encounter with our missionary God, and may the Holy Spirit guide her to fulfill God’s plan. I would also like to wish all of you Merry Christmas and may our encounter with the child Jesus make us passionate about God’s mission. In Christ the Missionary,
Desde el cielo una hermosa mañana…
FROM POPE FRANCIS Faith is God’s precious gift, which opens our mind to know and love him. He wants to enter into relationship with us and allow us to participate in his own life in order to make our life more meaningful, better and more beautiful. God loves us! Faith, however, needs to be accepted, it needs our personal response, the courage to entrust ourselves to God, to live his love and be grateful for his infinite mercy. It is a gift, not reserved for a few but offered with generosity.
Happy Advent! I trust that you are preparing for the coming of Christ on December 25th, but are you also preparing for the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12th? Each year Catholics all over the Archdiocese of Chicago celebrate this feast with novenas, songs, rose offerings and feasts! Did you know that Our Lady of Guadalupe is not only known as Patroness of Mexico but also “Mother and Evangelizer of America”? Pope John Paul II gave her this title in his 1999 Apostolic Exhortation, Ecclesia in America. This means she is mother of us all and a supreme example of mission in this part of the world. It is for this reason that the Missionary Childhood Association of Chicago will be focusing on her apparition as one great way to celebrate the Advent season. “Desde el cielo una hermosa mañana” translates as “From heaven one beautiful morning” and comes from a traditional song dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe, Las Apariciones Guadalupanas. It tells the story of her magnificent apparition on the hill of Tepeyac and explains that she came with a joyful sense of peace, harmony and freedom. (“Su llegada llenó de alegría de paz y armonía, y de libertad.”) Mary was sent to Mexico, to the Americas, with a mission to evangelize. How did she do it? Not with violence or grand speeches. She very successfully brought the good news of Jesus Christ to the Americas through her loving, motherly presence. She came in the form of the people and spoke their language. She sought to have a church built so that she could intercede on their behalf and relieve their suffering. She emphasized their dignity as her children and asked the humble St. Juan Diego to go to the bishop. Just like Mary, St. Juan Diego was sent to evangelize. He was a different kind of missionary than the ones that had come from Spain. He did not speak Spanish and was only a recent convert to Christianity. Yet he was sent to share the good news of Mary’s apparition with the church leaders of his time. He humbly approached the bishop
and showed him the miraculous sign that proved Mary had appeared. The examples of Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Juan Diego serve to show us what being sent means in the Americas.
While we prepare to celebrate our missionary God coming into the world as a helpless infant, let us also remember the missionary examples of Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Juan Diego. Where are you being sent today? Will you go with joy and humility? Look at the MCA section of our website for information about how the children of the Archdiocese are learning more about Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Juan Diego as models of mission!
World Mission Celebration A Success!! In a wonderful atmosphere of camaraderie and collaboration, the Office of Mission Education’s inaugural fundraiser, World Mission Celebration, on October 8, 2013 was a great success! Host Sr. Madge Karecki ushered the evening’s events perfectly as stories of mission and education were told by dynamic speakers. Fr. Andrew Small, National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States, shared a compelling video that highlighted the importance of educating missionary sisters and the role of the evening’s beneficiary, the Mater Ecclesiae College in Rome. Cardinal Francis George addressed the good work that sisters do in mission countries and how education impacts their ability to build up their local church. Sr. Teibe Hadghu, a Comboni Missionary Sister, gave a first-hand account of her missionary experience in Eritrea, describing how advanced education of sisters affected the lives of the people they served in their home countries. CBS Chicago news anchor Kate Sullivan used her skills of persuasion to garner bids for the silent auction and told a heart-warming story of her early interactions with sisters and how they deeply influenced her life. Along with these enriching stories, guests enjoyed the swinging piano music of Fr. Michael Shanahan, savored delicious international foods, and participated in a spirited silent auction of treasures from around the world. The WMC committee and the Office of Mission Education staff enjoyed the fruits of their planning as smiling guests lingered until the very end. Liz Johnson Program Assistant
Mass Intentions are Needed! In many developing countries the only source of income for many priests is Mass Intentions. They not only use them for their needs, but often for the needs of people or projects in their parishes. Mass Intentions are $5.00. Visit our website www.W e A r e M is s io n a r y .org and click Donate or call us at (312) 534-3322 to show your support!
Naród kroczący w ciemnościach ujrzał światłość wielką... „Nie bójcie się! Oto zwiastuję wam radość wielką, która będzie udziałem całego narodu: dziś w mieście Dawida narodził się wam Zbawiciel, którym jest Mesjasz, Pan” (Łk 2, 10-11) Czterotygodniowy czas Adwentu (łc. adventus), który przygotowuje nas do Bożego Narodzenia jest czasem radości i nadziei na przyjście Zbawiciela. Okres Adwentu bogaty w symbolikę, zwyczaje i symbole skłania nas do wybiegania myślą w przyszłość. Bł. Jan Paweł II w 1985 r. podczas 1. niedzieli Adwentu przypomniał: „Całe orędzie Adwentu przepełnione jest radosną wieścią: Pan przychodzi. Przychodzi dzisiaj raz jeszcze, tak jak w pełni czasów…Co roku, poczynając od pierwszej niedzieli Adwentu, Kościół poprzez cykl niedziel i świąt stara się nam uświadomić zbawcze działanie Boga w dziejach człowieka, ludzkości, świata. ”Adwent” czyli przyjście. Bóg przychodzi do człowieka. To jest podstawowy wymiar naszej wiary. Żyjemy wiarą, gdy otwieramy się na przyjście Boga, gdy trwamy w adwencie. Modlitwa Anioł Pański przypomina nam, jak była otwarta na przyjście Boga Najświętsza Maryja Panna: Ona wprowadza nas w Adwent”. Oczekując na Święta Bożego Narodzenia niewątpliwie więcej czasu poświęcamy na indywidualną modlitwę z Bogiem, aby godnie przygotować się do Uroczystości Narodzenia Pańskiego, która jest pamiątką historycznego przyjścia Chrystusa na ziemię przed dwoma tysiącami lat. Poprzez uczestnictwo w Mszach Roratnich, których nazwa pochodzi od pierwszych słów pieśni towarzyszącej rozpoczęciu Mszy św. w okresie Adwentu: “Rorate coeli de super... (niebiosa rosę spuśćcie nam z góry...)" przygotowujemy się nas do narodzenia Chrystusa, przez które Bóg wypełnia wszystkie obietnice złożone w historii... Niech to światło wieńca adwentowego będzie dla nas drogą do betlejemskiego żłobka, w którym narodzi się Chrystus nasz Zbawiciel! W tym uroczystym dniu Bożego Narodzenia rozlega się przeslanie anioła, aby przyjąć Zbawiciela do naszego serca i życia -Nie bójcie się! Oto
zwiastuję wam radość wielką (...): dziś w mieście Dawida narodził się wam Zbawiciel, którym jest Mesjasz, Pan (Łk 2, 10-11). Wpatrzeni w Bożą Dziecinę śpiewajmy Panu pieśń nową, albowiem cuda uczynił (Ps 98, 1). W Boże Narodzenie, w nowo narodzonym Dziecięciu Boga stajemy się światkami Jego chwały: „Chwała Bogu na wysokościach, a na ziemi pokój ludziom Jego upodobania” (Łk 2,14). Narodzenie Mesjasza zmieniło bieg dziejów. „Populus, qui ambulabat in tenebris, vidit lucem magnam —Naród kroczący w ciemnościach ujrzał światłość wielką”. W słowach proroka Izajasza dostrzeż światło, które promieniuje ze żłobka Bożej Dzieciny. Współczesny człowieku - dojrzały ale często ograniczony w swoim myśleniu-w ciszy Świętej Nocy w milczeniu kontempluj zdumiewające wydarzenie Bożego Narodzenia. Nie bój się, zaufaj Mu! Bóg, który stał się człowiekiem z miłości do człowieka pragnie Twojego szczęścia. Oby Nowonarodzony Zbawiciel stał się dla nas drogowskazem na nowej drodze do poznania jego miłości i prawdy. Wpatrzeni w betlejemski żłobek, prośmy nowonarodzonego o pokój na świecie, aby wszystkie narody mogły cieszyć się radością z przeżywania Świąt Bożego Narodzenia. „Descendit de coelis Salvator mundi. Gaudeamus!” Zstąpił z nieba Zbawiciel Świata. Radujmy się! Anna Dudek Coordinator for Polish Mission Education
To read this article in English, please visit our website www.WeAreMissionary.org
All about Missionary Childhood Association The Missionary Childhood Association is a Pontifical Mission Society founded in 1843 by Bishop Charles de ForbinJanson to help children strengthen their relationship with God through active participation in the missionary work of the Church. Called by Baptism to share the Gospel with others, the Missionary Childhood Association serves the Church worldwide through a distinct focus entirely on children. Dedicated to the idea of “children helping children,” an awareness of the universality of the Church and the call to witness one' s faith is enhanced through global education, prayer and support from children to children across the continents. Additional information can be found on our website: www.wearemissionary.org– Click on MCA!
Appeal For Mission “They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace.” Jeremiah 6:14 (NIV). The political crisis in the Central African Republic has triggered a dramatic deterioration in the humanitarian situation in the country. The Central African Republic population is in need of emergency shelter, healthcare, and food aid. The breakdown of law and order has led to widespread violations of human rights including targeted killings, rapes, torture, arbitrary arrests and recruitment of child soldiers. Even before this crisis, 3.2 million people in the Central African Republic had no access to healthcare, and about 80,000 were at risk of severe food insecurity. Many Catholic Church buildings have been damaged. This is a rebellion of religious extremism with evil intentions, characterized by profanation and programmed and planned destruction of religious buildings. Priests and religious have been targeted by militants. The Diocesan Society for the Propagation of the Faith Office is responsible to provide means of living to our priests, sisters, brothers, and seminarians. Only one percent of the 103,178 Catholics are coming to church, the rest are no longer coming due to insecurity and fear. Please help the Propagation of the Faith office reach these people. Please consider this situation and support them in their mission as they pass through this persecution. Even in tragic situations, they are called to bear true witness to Christ. Please send your support to the account listed at wearemissionary.org/appealformission. May God bless you!
Phone: 312-534-3322 Fax: 312-534-1599 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.WeAreMissionary.org Office for Mission Education and Animation: Fostering the New Evangelization Cardinal Meyer Center 3525 S. Lake Park Ave. Chicago, IL 60653-1402 Pontifical Mission Societies—One Family in Mission Office of Mission Education for the New Evangelization
Salt & Light in Mission Education Edwin, Megan and I recently attended the USCMA conference on social media. If asked to sum it up in one word, that word would be possibility. Social media creates a new territory for mission across the World Wide Web. Proclaiming the Word of God goes beyond physical boundaries, through social media we can communicate with a large audience all over the world. We have a responsibility to communicate the Word of God using this new method. Create messages that are audacious, intentional, and flexible. Give your witness, tell your story, and give life to the words. Tell stories of the human spirit, of possibility, of missionaries in the field. Start conversations—then listen and engage. Build interconnectedness online. Counsel. Instruct. Pray. People are attracted to salt and light in this world, how can we attract people in the digital world? Lastly, as Meredith Gould said, “believe what you read, teach what you believe, and practice what you teach.” While we engage online, never forget that nothing can replace human interaction face to face. Use your voice! Be on mission wherever you are— online or offline! Jane Rubin Digital Media Coordinator