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Autumn 2008 Mission Update Newsletter - Catholic Mission Association

Autumn 2008 Mission Update Newsletter - Catholic Mission Association

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Published by: Catholic Mission Association USA on Jun 16, 2010
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of Jesus who calls, and in thelove of the disciple moved tomake the commitment to joinHim in the adventure of mission.The disciple assumes a lifestylethat is provocative and counter-cultural, ready to become smalland poor like Jesus. Such disci- pleship springs from Jesus’ capti-vating questions: “Do you loveme more than these? Are youwilling to follow me, dedicatingyour life to the cause of the King-dom?” We discover that Jesushas called us with an impressiveauthority and freedom.We learn to be disciples of Jesusin his quiet baptism in the midstof the people. We learn from histenderness and compassion for others, from his way of touchingthe heart and communicating theGood News of liberation. We become entranced by the beautyof his transfigured face and itsreflection in human dignity. Welearn to see human plans andconcepts in the light of God, tolove the salvation that bringshumanization and life in abun-dance. From Jesus we learn howto pray, suffer and love, contem- plating his crucified body and bystanding with today’s victims.We become disciples who savor  joy, beauty and resurrection.We want to be disciples, con-stantly listening and learningwith faithful, adventurous crea-tivity. We want to follow Jesus,
The Family of God, CAM 3, COMLA 8
 Mission Update
The Gift of the Holy Spiritto Humanity
The Third American MissionaryCongress (CAM 3, COMLA 8),took place in Quito, Ecuador,known as the Center of theWorld. This event brought to-gether women and men disciplesfrom the ends of the earth in aPaschal feast celebrating “God’s passing through the midst of thePeople of God.” The Congressgathered a portion of the humanfamily, united in their passion for mission in the world.
We are the Church in Americaand we want to feel the heart-beat of the world.
We have lis-tened and we have learned. Our understanding of the message of the Gospel has grown broader and universal; our tent has beenenlarged. The Holy Spirit hasinspired us to stand in unity andto share our faith with Asia, Af-rica, Europe and Oceana, to work together for the Reign of God.We have seen the missionarycommunity come to life, a com-munity at once one and universal,a community for all of humanity.In this Congress, as in a conti-nental Upper Room, we have feltthe force of the Holy Spirit whohas given the Church the giftsand charisms to spread the Good News of salvation to each person,and especially to those who donot know Christ or who haveforgotten him. We have beensent to the ends of the earth.
 Once again, we have experiencedPentecost, a Church, a commu-nity of disciples, gathered withMary our Mother, reborn andsent again to all the earth. Wecelebrate the experience of unitythat the Spirit has fomentedamong us in the diversity of peo- ples, races and cultures. Unitedin the midst of a fragmentedworld, we have created a unitythat courageously lives what italso proclaims and gathers up thefragments, creating multiple ex- periences of communion in our world.We are a pilgrim church, born inthe mission of the Son and theHoly Spirit, following the plan of the Father, a sign of love in ac-tion. We are radical disciples,attentive to the crucible of our reality and ready to respond withtenderness, love and action sothat our prophecy will be credi- ble.
Easter Discipleship begins withlove of Jesus and the experi-ence of the Spirit
 Discipleship begins with the love
In This Issue
 Message to the HumanFamily1From the Director 
From the President 2 Book Reviews  Platform for the CommonGood Center Cam 3—All American Mission Congress Collage5, 6 Orbis Books 8 Resources & Upcoming  Events8USCMA Conference
United StatesCatholic Mission Association
Fall 2008Volume
, Issue
cont’d on p. 3
US Catholic Mission Association
We Pray
 In this monthdedicated to theMissions everyChristian communitymay feel theneed to sharein the Church’suniversalmission withprayers,sacrifices andmaterial help.
Benedict XVI
US Catholic Mission Association
From the President of the Board:Sr. Mary McGlone, CSJ
Rev. Michael Montoya, MJ, Executive Director Ms. Charlotte Cook, Associate Director Sr. Anne Louise Von Hoene, MMS, AccountantSr. Michael Theresa Brauer, SND de N,Administrative AssistantQuestions/Comments re: Meetings & Conferences meetings@uscatholicmission.orgQuestions/Comments re:
Mission Update
/ Current Topics news@uscatholicmission.orgE-Mail: uscma@uscatholicmission.org Web Site: www.uscatholicmission.org
 Mission Update:
ISSN 1542—6130
 Page 2Mission Update
The more we follow what is happeningaround us, the stronger is the challenge for us missioners to continue proclaiming theGood News. How does one do it in themidst of the financial crisis that is hittinghard even our own organizations and reli-gious communities? How does one pro-claim the Good News in the midst of the burning of Christians and ChristianChurches in Orissa, India? How does one journey with a sense of hope knowing our own planet is in peril? How can one pro-claim hope in the midst of poverty andfood shortages resulting in riots and vio-lence all over the world? How can onespeak of a journey of hope in the midst of this global migration phenomenon that puts lives at risk and separates familymembers? It seems like we have morequestions than answers. And I am sure thatyou can add more to the list I have pre-sented above. Missioners, on a journey of hope, we are challenged to focus our eyeson where God is calling us at this point of our history. Now, more than ever, we arecalled to a journey of hope that is basednot simply on human optimism or human promises but on a God who faithfully callsus to discipleship.And what a year to be made aware of thesethings – the year of Mission! This year, itseems like everyone is talking about mis-sion and the importance of mission in thelife of the Church. We all know that thisyear is a Jubilee year in honor of Paul theApostle, missionary par excellence. In theUS Church, we are celebrating 100 yearsof having been officially called to sendmissioners throughout the world. InOctober this year, the Synod of Bishops inRome will talk about the Word of God andthe Mission of the Church. And just re-cently in Ecuador, the great continentalmission which echoes the desire of theAparecida meeting of the Bishops of LatinAmerica and the Caribbean to put theChurch in a permanent state of missionwas launched. In a gathering that broughttogether 3000 delegates from the North,Central and South America in one MissionCongress with a challenge to listen, learnand proclaim, the 52 delegates from theUS have experienced a vibrant Church inmission. We are happy to share with youthe final message from the Congress in thisMission Update. November is election month for us in theUS. Surely many of you have been follow-ing the Presidential Debate. Beyond rhetoricand promises, as missioners we need toengage with our global perspectives and puta human face to many of the issues that are presented before us. Beyond political punchlines and partisan slogans, the CatholicSocial Teachings and the Scriptures allowus to sift through the muddling of issues presented before us. Together with manynational organizations, ratified by a delega-tion of 800 people from all over the country,we present to you the Platform for the Com-mon Good as our Periodic Paper. We dohope that this tool will help us to decide beyond simple party affiliations and con-sider the voice of faith-filled citizens. Letthis be our agenda as we look into the elec-tions. Let this agenda be our candidate. Letus help promote this platform.Our Mission Conference in Baltimore“Mission: A Journey of Hope” is indeedvery timely, given all the issues with whichwe are confronted. We do hope you are joining us. There is still time to register.You may go towww.uscatholicmission.org to register online. Looking at the list of par-ticipants, plus the quality of speakers, Ithink this Mission Conference will onceagain be engaging and truly exciting!Lastly, we would like to wish CharlotteCook all the best as she goes back to Kenya.Charlotte has been the Associate Director of USCMA for the past 4 years. She has been avaluable member of the staff. Many of youhave known her. We thank her for her dedi-cation to the work of USCMA. Blessings toyour new endeavor, Charlotte! You will bemissed.
From the Director  Rev. Michael Montoya, MJ 
In other parts of the Mission Update, you willfind references to CAM 3, COMLA 8, thattook place in Quito in August. Our U.S. delega-tion of about 50 people had a good number of USCMA members in it. What an experience!Trying to describe it, I commented that it wascharacterized by charismatic excitement andLatin American spirituality and theology - withthe full participation of 3000 people, young, oldand in-between
These congresses began in 1977, when Mexicohosted the first Latin American Mission Con-gress (COMLA). Since then, every five yearshas seen another, the last three of which haveincluded the U.S. and Canada, thus being calledthe Congreso Americano Misionero.One of the most impressive things about thislast conference was the preparation that most of the countries had done. Before the delegationswere chosen, dioceses and regions had heldlocal mission congresses which then fed intonational mission congresses - all looking to-ward CAM 3. The degree of organization wasamazing - and matched only by the enthusiasmof those groups as they participated and made plans to take the results back to their homecountries.At the closing ceremony, participants weremandated to inaugurate the "Continental Mis-sion," called for by the Fifth Conference of Latin American bishops at Aparecida, Brazil.Latin America is on fire for mission!I feel very challenged by our Latin American brothers and sisters. I hope that we can followtheir example and find ways to ignite ever greater enthusiasm for mission on the local andnational scene. Although it is not formally onthe agenda for our upcoming Conference, I willlook forward to discussing ways that we can join the Church in Latin America in their mis-sionary ardor. Let's talk about it!Peace to you all.
 Fall 2008
ready to leave behind our nets, our established plans, our boats, parents, homeland, structures, our successes and thestability that gives us security. We are ready to do anything becauseJesus is offering to share his cause with us and we want to identifywith him. We have been captivated by his life and the freeing, vigor-ous authority with which he has invited us to abandon security and tofollow him in mission.We give witness to Jesus, his life and his cause, because he hasformed us in his image from within, transforming us into evangelizerswho share an intimate experience of communion and friendship withHim. Because Christ is at the center of our life, our discipleship is theroot of our missionary identity; it constantly creates and renews our communion with others and sustains our commitment to the transfor-mation of the world in missionary service.The
change of epoch
and the cultural and religious pluralism we ex- perience, demand that we question our imitation of Christ. Disciple-ship and its evangelical demands make us countercultural. The realityof the growing poverty of the majority of the world, a consequence of ever-expanding socio-economic and political injustice, challenges usas disciples.All of this leads us to reaffirm our convictions and options as believersso that our lives may illuminate the reason for our hope. We are led todrink from the life-giving water of the Gospel and to share it withthose who thirst for justice, peace and truth, with those who do not believe in violence. These challenges call us to overcome individual-ism and isolation and to reclaim and strengthen our sense of ecclesial belonging and our loyal collaboration with our pastors, united in thedesire to form Christian communities characterized by prayer, har-mony and a missionary spirit.
A community led by the Spirit, A Church forEveryone and Servant of Humanity
The Holy Spirit is leading us toward a new epoch in human life, a newway of being Church. We have experienced andwe remember the living history of missionarieswho have gone before us, many of whom are here present in this Congress. They have given uslife. We have received new life from the memoryof our American martyrs who gave their lives for love of Jesus and their brothers and sisters. Inthem, the evangelical mission of the Church becomes transparent and fruitful for humanity.They are witnesses and martyrs whose enthusiasmfor the mission is contagious.Our missionary spirituality is a life in the Spirit which gives witness.(Jn. 15:26-27) With their very blood, our American saints and martyrs proclaimed the truth of the God who frees us. They point us towardthe source of life, the life that comes from Jesus incarnate in our land,a most profound Gospel spirituality.The Spirit leads us into mission, into incarnation in cultures and peo- ples, to sow seeds, the seeds of a Gospel that will be reborn in newfaces and a variety of fruits. That same Spirit calls us into dialog andecumenical and interreligious collaboration. The Spirit leads us to become bread broken and shared for the sake of uniting everyone atthe table of friendship and fraternity; to experience our communionwith all of humanity in order to render praise and glory to God. We
 Page 3Mission Update
US Catholic Mission Association
 Fall 2008
take on the project of the Reign of God from a stance of gratitude andlittleness, united with the poor and the victims of this world as wework for justice and liberation, love and the common good, for alter-natives which spring from hearts that have been recreated in the com-munity of the Church.The Spirit breaks in on us, touches us and pushes us toward God, his-tory, interiority and action. The love which springs forth from theFather and the Son becomes translated in our history as solidaritywhich goes beyond all borders. The Spirit who anointed Jesus to bring the Good News to the poor is the architect of unity and relation-ship, the Spirit announces freedom to the prisoners, gives sight to the blind, frees the oppressed and announces a year of favor.
Mission in the heart of the world
The Community that is in Mission for Humanity
is called to live in theMystery of God, in heart of the divine desire for the salvation of all,full of love and humanization. The mission of God today is that of uniting all of humanity in one common house of creation. Thus, weare called to ask ourselves where humanity is headed today.
 Everything that is human is ours
, humanity’s current situation and problems are ours as well. Our hope is that we can present the Good News of Jesus and the Gospel as a light and a model for humanity,demonstrating that love of God and neighbor are one and the same.Because of that, we contemplate the whole of society and recognizeall of its aspirations, projects, its humanism and thirst for God. Weare pained to see the suffering brought about by the crises of economicand social strategies, ecological emergencies, cultural and democraticcrises, not to mention the poverty, exclusion, violence and persecutionthat mark our times.
What can we do or propose?
 A Divine World 
. The missionary community is sent by the Holy Spiritto connect peoples and cultures, a unity in diversity (Jn. 21:11), start-ing in the periphery and moving to the center for the liberation of all.We resonate with the divine dream of a world with-out peripheries or centers, a divinized world.
We are apprentices
. As we confront the grave prob-lems of our day, we are all apprentices. We have norecipes. All we have to offer is trust in the Lord, anopen heart and the willingness to give evidence for our hope, based on our faith in the Gospel. Hope isthe central message of Biblical faith (SpS 2). Hopefinds its concrete expression when the poor and thevictims begin to speak out, to make themselves pre-sent. We take on all that is human, recognizing the painful reality of the margination and exclusion of many of our brothers and sisters.
The Mission is recreated in solidarity, in sharing and in gratitude
. Inhis pastoral practice, Jesus taught us that the exploited and excludedhave a real part in the mission of the Church; they are participants inthe plan of God and lead us to broaden our horizons; they are signs pointing toward justice who incarnate hope in our history.
We cooperate with humanity’s movement toward unity
under the guid-ance of the Spirit who is sign of plurality and universality; we work ingratitude and in hope together with the poor. The Spirit has given usan ongoing task which will only come to completion in the final days.Meanwhile, we walk by faith as the Gospel opens us to the horizon of 
cont’d from p. 1

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