Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - "I repeat the invitation of the Holy Father to renew, today and now, your personal encounter with Jesus Christ and to let yourselves meet him. Only in this way you can give a new impact to the process of evangelization of your lands. With great trust, I count on each of you - priests, religious men and women - to give life to a Church where the joy of the Gospel resounds".
This is the speech Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, addressed to the priests, religious men and women of the dioceses of Luanda, Caxito and Viana, in the first meeting of his pastoral visit in Angola (see Fides 09/11/2018).
On the afternoon of Sunday 11 November, in Nossa Senhora de Fátima parish in Luanda, the Cardinal addressed priests and religious from the three Angolan dioceses, recalling that they are "at the forefront of the evangelizing action of the dioceses, parishes and religious communities", as well as expressing admiration for the missionary commitment and recognition for their witness in the work of evangelization. "The Synod dedicated to the young ended in the October Missionary Month, and heading towards the Extraordinary Missionary Month of October 2019 - the Cardinal said - I am here on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the creation of the Angolan Episcopal Conference and of Sao Tome and on the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, to invite you to become, with great enthusiasm, authentic and zealous 'missionary disciples', more and more in love with Jesus and his evangelizing mission".
Therefore Cardinal Filoni urged us to enter "in a process of renewal of personal listening in following Christ, starting from the Gospel", following Pope Francis, who from the beginning of his Pontificate invites everyone to renew their personal encounter with Christ. Engaging in this process means becoming aware that "priests, men and women religious are, above all, men and women of God, and therefore men and women of prayer, men and women who try to respond more coherently and authentically to their vocation for the priestly and religious life and their mission at the service of the People of God".
The Prefect of the Missionary Dicastery then warned against a certain worldliness that affects the Church of every continent, "this worldliness is nothing but mediocrity. We must overcome this mediocrity". The Cardinal then focused on the mediocrity in the field of chastity and pastoral and religious life, inviting priests, religious men and women "to renew their commitment to live in celibacy and chastity", helped by prayer.
"By renouncing secularism and mediocrity, through our encounter with Christ, we can consequently renew the Church and all the pastoral and missionary dynamics".
He then reminded priests, religious men and women of their responsibility as ordained and consecrated, to be leaders of the communities, "called to serve and dedicate themselves entirely to them, called to love them with all their heart, just as Christ loves his Church". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 12/11/2018)