Letter: Availability for Mission

In the beginning of July we received a letter from Fr. General regarding a decision made at the last General Chapter. The Chapter accepted that each member at the time of final vows be asked to declare himself available for a mission outside of their own Province or Region. Fr. General in the letter addresses the members to consider this declaration of openness to partake in a foreign mission. Even though, at this time, we do not have a member taking final vows, I think it is important that the Region’s members are aware of this call to mission.

2013-12-06 08.40.16Prot. N. P0291/2016

Rome, July 1st, 2016 

“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (MT 28: 19-20)

Dear Confreres,

Our prayers are with you as you prepare to profess your final vows in the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. May you know the love of Jesus, have many years of rewarding service, and experience a fraternal life that strengthens and inspires you.

The 23rd General chapter mandated that “every religious, on the occasion of his perpetual vows or priestly ordination receive a concrete proposal to make a declaration of his availability for the missions”. This letter is that invitation for you to consider the possibility of one day serving the church and congregation as part of an international community.

While you professed perpetual vows in (xxxx), (this xth) anniversary is an occasion we renew the call to reflect on this invitation to help the congregation in the mission field.

Each Dehonian entity has an important local mission that carries on Fr. Dehon’s charism. There are pressing needs in your own entity. Your talents and abilities may be best suited to meet the mission needs in your own culture.

Yet for Fr. Dehon missionary activity was a privileged form of apostolic service (Constitutions #32). We need always to keep the needs of the missions in our consciousness. Two of the objectives of the general plan we developed to guide the congregation through our term as council are:

1.To deepen our missionary charism;

2. To create and strengthen international communities.Historically, many of our oldest entities have sponsored missions on their own. Increasingly our mission efforts as a congregation are the fruit of international collaboration. Some of our former sending countries are now receiving missionaries from our newer entities. A developing local church comes of age when it becomes a sending church.Some Dehonians serve mission needs best by helping with short term projects, giving workshops in other entities, or offering retreats for example. Yet for the congregation to strengthen its presence in the areas we currently serve, and expand into the peripheries of new lands and works, we need people willing to give a substantial number of years in new lands and with new peoples.

Fr. Heiner Wilmer, S.C.J.

In the Heart of Christ,Is the Spirit of the Lord calling you to be available for the missions, now or in the future? If you hear this call, we ask you to begin dialogue with your superior, and let us know by returning form A to Fr. Paulus Sugino (mail address: paulus.sugino@dehon.it), who is responsible for our Mission Sector.It is a special calling to leave home and family and culture and venture to what is unfamiliar. Learning new languages or understanding a different culture takes patience and dedication.

A decision to work in the mission field cannot be made quickly, and requires fruitful discernment between a member and his major superior.

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