World Mission Day 2022, celebrated on Sunday, October 23rd, with the theme: You shall be my witnesses, is an event that commits the Congregation of the Mission, founded by Saint Vincent de Paul in the XVII century and that today proposes to send, on a yearly basis, at least 30 confreres to mission lands as part of the “1% Campaign”. The Superior General, Father Tomaž Mavrič, CM, explains: On the occasion of World Mission Day 2022, I renew my resolution to send at least 1 percent of the members of the Congregation of the Mission, about 30 confreres a year, to the ‘missions ad gentes’ each year. This has long been our desire, this we promised to Pope Francis in 2019. Thus we follow our charism that impels us to go to all the peripheries of the world to announce first of all by personal witness and then by words and works the Gospel of Jesus. We will continue to open new missions ad gentes, in all countries where there is or will be need. As missionaries we must strive for Jesus to be known, adored, and loved throughout the world. Then, Father Tomaž speaks to young people and states: If some young man or woman feels called by Jesus to know our Fonder, Saint Vincent de Paul, our spirituality and our charism, then please, approach us in order to know us (https://cmglobal.org).
The Congregation of the Mission is present on every continent. For example, Father Matthew Nayak, CM, appointed as Visitor of Northern India six months ago, tells us: After assuming the responsibility of Visitor, in August 2022, we sent four confreres to Cambodia. I am in contact with them and they tell me that they are happy and committed to learning the local language. We also want to open a mission in Myanmar, but because of political and religious restrictions, we opened a center in Joldam, a village on the boarder with Myanmar. Father Anil Thomas, CM, Visitor of Southern India since 2020 speaks about two missions, one in Nepal and another in Malawi: I planned the mission in Malawi as a way to celebrate our 100th anniversary. In 1922, four Spanish missionaries from the Province of Madrid arrived in India. The Province of Southern India was created in 1997 and therefore, in 2022 we not only celebrate the 100th anniversary of our foundation, but also the 25th anniversary of our establishment as a Province. After concluding all the formalities, on September 29, 2021, we sent four missionaries to Malawi. There the missionaries learned the local language, Chichewa. With regard to Nepal: At the request of the Apostolic Vicar in Nepal, the Province of Souther India began a mission in that country. Two confreres arrived in Nepal on June 7, 2022. One of our confreres is assisting the Vicariate of Nepal by serving as the Director of the new Diocesan Pastoral Center. After registering the Congregation in Nepal, we are now looking to buy some land in that country. Father Anil also recalls the forthcoming opening of a mission in Sri Lanka, an endeavour which the Province has been engaged in for the past ten years: We have proposed to the Bishop of Mannar to launch an Advisory Center for people affected by the war and for other people in the Diocese. We also proposed establishing a center for Catholic university students, thus providing a way to meet their spiritual and sacramental needs while at the same time providing them with affordable accomodations. The Bishop was delighted and invited us to begin a Vincentian Mission in Sri Lanka. We have acquired 30 acres of land and we are looking forward to opening the first house and beginning the construction of the hostel (we are doing all of this with the help of benefactors and friends.
In the Common Rules of the Congregation of the Mission we read: The name Missioners, or Priests of the Mission, clearly indicates that the work of missions is the primary and most important of all ministries to people (Common Rule XI:10). Vincent de Paul also stated: I belong neither here nor there, but wherever God wants me to be (CCD:IX:10).
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