Pretoria (Agenzia Fides) - "The Extraordinary Mission Month is meant for each person to renew one’s personal relationship with Christ", said Fr. Barney McAleer, who previously worked in the SACBC (Southern Africa Catholic Bishops' Conference) Office of EvangeliZation during the special day to celebrate the Extraordinary Missionary Month at the SACBC’s head office in Pretoria.
"No matter how many times we have disappointed God’s love in the past, this special month marks a special invitation to come before God as we are and renew our relationship. We are called before God as we are and to confess our sins so that God can embrace us again", said Fr. McAleer, who is currently in charge of the SACBC Foundation, the body of Bishops dedicated to raising funds for charitable projects. Fr. Barney also stressed that during the Extraordinary Missionary Month "we are called to extend the hand of charity to our brothers and sisters in need".
Barney said that the Church exists to evangelize and to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to everyone, stressing that the responsibility of this missionary work is not reserved for Priests and Nuns. He quoted the words of Pope John Paul II, "The missionaries of the new millennium is the Laity".
Fr. Barney also underlined the importance that evangelization begins at home with parents and grandparents who are the first to teach young people to do the sign of the cross. "The spiritual nurturing of the young ones should always be grown in the home, before one comes to the Church. The home is the place where formation to faith is initially grown".
Fr. Barney concluded his speech by saying: "It would not make sense that evangeliZation is in the hands of few people. We should not be only recipients of Good News. We should be all active. This calls for personal involvement of all the people of God in the mission of evangelization. We are all called to go out to preach the Good News and baptise those who receive it, as Jesus commanded us", he concluded. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 25/10/2019)