OCTOBER 21, 2012, Vol 62, No 21

ARCHBISHOP’S MESSAGE FOR WORLD MISSION SUNDAY (OCT 21):
'World is still in need of Missionaries'


 “Called to radiate the Word of truth” (Apostolic Letter Porta Fidei, n. 6) “Called to radiate the Word of truth” (Apostolic Letter Porta Fidei, n. 6)

'World is still in need of Missionaries'

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

World Mission Sunday is particularly significant this year as it coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council and the opening of the Year of Faith, which has as its theme “New Evangelization”.

This strongly reaffirms the Church’s dedication to spreading the Gospel with even greater zeal and courage.

Evangelisation is still valid today with the number of those who do not know Christ growing. Pope Benedict XVI places the Church’s missionary nature at the centre of ecclesiology. “Today as in the past, Christ sends us through the highways of the world to proclaim his Gospel to all the peoples of the earth” (Apostolic Letter Porta Fidei, n. 7.)

Family is most often portrayed with two parents, but there are families that face the disadvantage of having only one. Theresa Martens shares the difficulties of being single parent with four children.

When my husband left me for another woman 13 years ago, I was 38 years old with four children, living in Yokohama, Japan, with no family, no friends and no money.

It was a difficult and one of the most frightening phases in our life. I was hurt and felt betrayed. I felt angry, bitter, ashamed, confused, lost and frightened, all at once. Where were we going to live? How were we going to feed ourselves? I needed a job, but how was I going to get a job, having not worked for 14 years? And if I did get a job, who was going to take care of the children when I went to work? The questions were as seemingly endless as they were urgent. The pain was unbearable, and made worse knowing that my four children were also hurt, angry, and even more confused, too.
Bishops fill St Peter’s Basilica during the Second Vatican Council or Vatican II (1962 – 1965). CNS file photoBishops fill St Peter’s Basilica during the Second Vatican Council or Vatican II (1962 – 1965). CNS file photoIn this Year of Faith article, Fr Bernard Teo explains why Dignitatis Humanae is even more relevant now as religious freedom is attacked in many parts of the world

DIGNITATIS HUMANAE, The Declaration on Religious Freedom, was Vatican II’s final major document that Pope Paul VI signed and promulgated on Dec 7, 1965.

Although a relatively short document, its content went through six contentious drafts and heated debates before its final passage. Its teachings marked a very important and dramatic crossing for the Church into the modern era – her official acceptance of Church/state separation and the right of religious freedom.

Fr Bernard TeoFr Bernard TeoAt the time of its drafting, there was intense secular and interfaith interests in its final outcome. Has the Church any new message to offer the world with its diverse religious faiths, political beliefs, and practices? Was the Church willing to enter into any kind of ecumenical dialogue in a spirit of mutual respect with them?
La Salle Brothers at prayer in Singapore. Forty-eight Brothers from eight congregations gathered in Rome recently to discuss issues affecting the Church and Religious Brothers.La Salle Brothers at prayer in Singapore. Forty-eight Brothers from eight congregations gathered in Rome recently to discuss issues affecting the Church and Religious Brothers.La Salle Br Nicholas Seet reflects on the issues and concerns raised by Religious Brothers at a one-month conference in Rome

MY VOCATION as a Religious Brother was affirmed and renewed as I attended the first ever inter-congregational conference of teaching Religious brothers from Sept 1-30. The meeting, held at the Generalate of the La Salle Brothers in Rome, had the theme “All Brothers”.

It was a gathering of 48 Brothers from eight teaching Brothers congregations – La Salle, Marist, St Gabriel, Holy Family, Sacred Heart, La Mennais, Our Lady of Mercy and the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers.

We came from Asia, Oceania, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the USA.