“Baptised and Sent: Church of Christ on Mission to the World”
World Mission Sunday this year is on October 20th, but Pope Francis has declared the whole of October to be celebrated as an ‘Extraordinary Month of Mission.’ The visit of the Relics of St Therese of Lisieux to Scotland in September can be seen as a prelude and a summons to a greater missionary commitment on the part of all of us. This issue of the Advocate provides further explanation of why Pope Francis has called for this celebration. In coming weeks we should learn more about what is being organized at a local level here in Scotland to ensure we continue to be a mission-conscious Church.
Another big event in October is the Amazon Synod; its theme is ‘Amazonia: new paths for the Church and for an integral ecology.’ The vast region of the Amazon embraces Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia. Brazil particularly has been in the news of late as the fires continue to rage and the equatorial forest destroyed to make way for agribusiness and mining. The Synod will be concerned primarily with the revitalization of the Church in this area. Its conclusions however, will be of relevance to the universal Church as we face up to the growing materialism and individualism of our times. We are all called to ‘ongoing conversion’ – and we must begin to hear the call to ‘ecological conversion’ which will necessitate radical changes to our lifestyle. Along with other Christian Churches we are asked to observe the ‘Season of Creation’ between September 1st (World Day of Prayer for the Environment) and the 4th of October, feast of St Francis of Assisi.
Here in Cardonald the ‘Friends of Mill Hill’ organized a celebration of mission as we marked the Golden Jubilee of Ordination of Fr Matt Grier, and the Diamond Jubilee of Fr Bill Tollan. As we reach the final stretch of our missionary lives we rejoice greatly in the dynamism of the young African and Asian MHM’s who are increasingly leading our missionary efforts in many parts of the world. Our Filipino members include Fr Jimmy Findero, a member of the General Council based in Maidenhead. They have also reached out to a comparatively unevangelised area of their own country (Turda), and now to our new mission in Cambodia.
Elsewhere our missionaries are caught up in ongoing and life- threatening conflicts, not least in Cameroon. Tensions have increased in India with the landslide re-election of Prime Minister Modi, and his BJP Party. Christians in Pakistan have been given some hope that they will begin to be acknowledged in practice as full citizens of the land of their birth.
Finally, our community here in Cardonald has been enlarged with the arrival of Fr John Doran. He introduces himself in his article on his recent renewal course at Kinnoull, and a second article describing his pilgrimage in the footsteps of the great missionary-monk, St Cuthbert. Our MH house in Durham is within sight of the glorious Cathedral that houses the shrine of St Cuthbert, and of the great St Bede of Jarrow.
Fr Bill Tollan mhm, Editor