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Annual Mission Appeal 2014

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 Mission Appeal is a circular letter of the Superior General of the Congregation of the Mission addressed to all members of the Congregation in October every year in regard of  World Mission Week. It presents the missionary activity of the Congregation and most urgent needs of the missions established by the The Congregation of the Mission around the world.

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“It is our vocation not to go just into a parish or a diocese, but the whole world. And to do what? To set people’s hearts ablaze and to do what the Son of Man did…to light a fire on the earth in order to set it aflame with his love.” (St. Vincent, CCD: XII, 207)

ROME, October 19, 2014
World Mission Sunday

Dear Confreres,
May the grace and peace of Our Lord Jesus Christ live forever in our hearts!

In October, as the Church calls us to reflect on our missionary vocation, it is also time for our annual Mission Appeal which supports our international and provincial missions. This appeal also encourages confreres to support the missions by volunteering, praying for our missionaries, and offering financial support by strengthening these missions.

Let me begin by telling you a mission story. Fr. Manny Ginete, a confrere serving in South Sudan, shared his enthusiasm for his mission with me in a recent letter. He has served on the Solidarity with South Sudan (SSS) pastoral team since 2011. This is a venture of the Union of Superiors General in Rome, and they send religious with expertise to help rebuild and renew the Church in South Sudan. Fr. Manny has invited me to ‘come and see’ his life and work there. After describing his ministry and collaboration with other religious, Fr. Manny observed that:

“The bigger picture here is the task of building up the local Church- something our Spanish ‘Padres Paules’ had painstakingly done in the Philippines, by their formation of local and diocesan clergy and lay leaders. I see my role in South Sudan as no different from that of our beloved Spanish missionaries who established the Church and the Congregation there. It has convinced me the ministry I am providing here in South Sudan is as Vincentian as any we do. If we truly want to serve the poorest of the poor, we have come to South Sudan.”

I am looking forward to my visit with Fr. Manny and other dedicated religious next month!

For this years’ Mission Appeal, I am excited to introduce a new website for our International Missions. Entitled, “The Joy of the Gospel.” the web address is www.gospel-joy.org. It provides an overview of our International Missions and the confreres who serve there. The web site also provides a way for you to contact individual confreres via the web site. Please take time to review this web site and see the many great mission efforts made by our confreres.

In this letter, I wish to share information with you on the international and provincial missions of the Congregation. All are in need of personnel and financial support, so please read and reflect on this 2014 Mission Appeal. Ask the Lord Jesus and St. Vincent for the grace to respond as best you are able. Following the listing of these missions, you will find the following:


CURRENT LIST OF INTERNATIONAL MISSIONS
AND CONFRERES WHO SERVE

AFRICA

  • Angola: Established in 2012, this Portuguese-speaking mission offers pastoral work and accompaniment of the Vincentian Family. Confreres currently serving there are José Ramirez Martinez, and Jason Christian Soto Herrera. Two additional confreres will be arriving soon.
  • Benin: Established in 2013, the confreres in this French-speaking mission engage in pastoral ministry, assist the Sisters of the Miraculous Medal, and accompany the Vincentian Family. The confreres now serving there are Stanislav Deszcz, Jaroslaw Lawrenz, and Rafael Brukarczyk.
  • Chad: Established in 2012 and staffed by COVIAM (Conference of Visitors of Africa and Mozambique) confreres in this French and Arabic-speaking mission do parish work. They are Roch Alexander Ramilijaona, Onyeachi Sunday Ugwu, and Esigbemi Ambrose Umetietie
  • Tunisia: Established in 2011, this French and Arabic-speaking mission involves parish work and charitable assistance with CARITAS. The confreres serving there are Firmin Mola Mbalo and Narcisse Djerambete Yotobumbeti.

LATIN AMERICA

  • Bolivia, El Alto: Established in 1994, this Spanish-speaking mission to indigenous people involves rural pastoral ministry and lay formation. The confreres serving there are Aidan Rooney, Cyrille De Nanteuil, Diego Pla, and Janez Cerar.
  • Bolivia, Cochabamba: Established in 2009, this Spanish-speaking mission involves pastoral and parochial ministry. The confreres serving there are David Paniagua, Jorge Manrigue Castro, and Luis Miguel Montano Flores
  • Chile, Puntas Arenas: Established in 2013 this mission involves pastoral ministry to Punta Arenas n the southernmost part of Chile, next to Tierra del Fuego. The language spoken is Spanish. These confreres serve here: Ángel Ignacio Garrido Santiago, Pablo Alexis Vargas Ruiz, and Margarito Martinez Gonzalez

NORTH AMERICA

  • Alaska, USA: Soon to be established, these confreres serve the growing Hispanic community living in the Archdiocese of Anchorage. The languages are Spanish and English. Confreres soon to serve are Arnoldo Hernandez Rodriguez, and two confreres from Colombia awaiting visas.

ASIA

  • Solomon Islands: Established in 1993 as one of the first international missions, the apostolates here involve seminary formation and pastoral and parish ministry. The language spoken is Pidgin English. These confreres serve here: Jose Manjaly, Jeff Harvey, Raúl Castro, Tewolde Negussie Teclemicael, Greg Cooney, Thomas Christiawan, Varghese Ayyampilly, and Antony Punnoth, who will arrive soon.
  • Papua New Guinea: Begun in 2003, this mission encompasses several dioceses. Besides seminary formation work in Port Moresby, the confreres are engaged in rural parishes and missions. The language spoken is Pidgin English. These confreres serve here: Vladimir Malota, Georges Maylaa, Homero Marin, Marceliano Oabel, Justin Eke, Emmanuel Lapaz, Jacek Tendej, and Neil Lams.

CURRENT NEEDS OF PROVINCIAL MISSIONS

In addition to the needs of the International Missions, provinces and vice-provinces also have needs as well for confreres to assist in their work of missions. Below are several listings.

  • Province of China: The Province of China continues to serve the pastoral needs of the people of Taiwan and mainland China. Confreres serve in a variety of ministries, and the language is Mandarin.
  • Province of Cuba: Although considering reconfiguration with other provinces, the Province of Cuba has a serious shortage of personnel. The language is Spanish.
  • Province of Hungary: This province, while small in number, has one of the youngest groups of confreres in the Congregation. They engage in various types of pastoral work. The language is Hungarian.
  • Vice Province of Mozambique: This Vice-Province has works for the poor, seminary formation, and a mission in South Africa. However, they still depend on confreres from other provinces to continue their works. They welcome new members and the language is Portuguese.
  • Vice Province of Sts. Cyril & Methodius: This Vice-Province has evolved and grown with native confreres from the Ukraine, and has found creative ways to meet the pastoral and material needs of the poor. With ministry in the Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus, this vice-province welcomes confreres for short-term ministry as well as new members. The language is Russian.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

My brothers, as Pope Francis notes in Evangelii Gaudium, all members of the Body of Christ are called to be missionaries and evangelizers. This calling is deeply imbued in each of us by virtue of our Vincentian vocation. As our Holy Father wrote in his apostolic exhortation:

“I dream of a “missionary option”, that is, a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channeled for the evangelization of today’s world rather than for her self-preservation.” (Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, No. 27)

This “missionary impulse” is inherent to our Vincentian charism. I ask you to reflect on the words of Pope Francis and review details in this letter and on the International Missions website: www.gospel-joy.org. Pray the Lord to awaken in you a desire to live the ‘missionary impulse’ in whatever way you are able. Consider if the Lord is calling you to serve in one of these missions. Support our confreres who serve so generously in the missions by your prayer, financial support, and even by corresponding with them through the web site, which provides a page to do so.

In this “month of the missions” that the Church provides, let us resolve to do what St. Vincent called us to: “To set people’s hearts ablaze and to do what the Son of Man did, who came to light a fire on the earth in order to set it aflame with his love.”

Your brother in St. Vincent,

G. Gregory Gay, C.M.
Superior General

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