Our commitment to evangelise
- Christ Jesus, God’s Good News, the first and greatest preacher of the Gospel, sent his apostles to preach the gospel to all nations and established His Church as the universal sacrament of salvation, which is therefore missionary by its very nature.
- In the Church, a community of faith and love enlivened by the Holy Spirit on its pilgrim journey in time, all the baptized, and especially religious by virtue of their special consecration, are called to respond to the grace of evangelisation and to fulfil the Lord’s man-date.
- Through divine inspiration, Saint Francis renewed the missionary spirit in his day by the example of his life and the force of his Rule.
- His brotherhood, living in fraternity and itinerancy, added momentum to the Church’s missionary activity for the proclamation of the gospel and the coming of the Kingdom, which transforms the human person and creates a new world in justice and in peace.
- Therefore our Order accepts as its own the responsibility of spreading the Gospel, which belongs to the whole Church. It values missionary work and undertakes it as one of its principal apostolic obligations as a contribution to the renewal and building up of the Body of Christ.
- In our apostolic fraternity, all of us are called to bring the good news of salvation to those who do not believe in Christ, in whatever continent or region they may find them-selves. For this reason, all of us consider ourselves to be missionaries.
- Besides the missionary work undertaken in Christian communities able to disseminate evangelical witness in society, we recognise the special situation of those brothers, commonly called missionaries, who, leaving their own countries of origin, are sent to exercise their ministry in different social and cultural contexts where the gospel is unknown and service to the young Churches is required.
- In the same way we recognise the special missionary condition of brothers sent to areas in need of new evangelisation because the lives of entire groups of people are no longer informed by the gospel and many baptised people have lost a sense of faith, either partially or totally.
- Let us therefore commit ourselves not to leave the Lord’s missionary command unanswered or inoperative, aware that every person has the right to hear God’s good news, so that they can live their vocation to the full.
Constitutions N. 177
- As Saint Francis taught, missionary brothers sent to various parts of the world are to live spiritually among people in two ways: namely, while being subject to every human creature for God’s sake, let them give witness with great confidence to the Gospel life by their charity; and, when they see that it pleases God, let them openly proclaim the word of salvation.
- On fire with love for Christ and sustained by the example of our holy missionaries, let the brothers go on mission impelled by the desire to serve the particular Churches in the work of evangelisation.
- They should make this attitude evident by willingly listening to and engaging in dialogue with the other component parts of the Church, and should consider that the summit of missionary activity is the building up of the particular church, in which the clergy, religious and laity have responsibility according to their respective competence.
- The brothers should co-operate with lay missionaries, especially catechists, in work and planning and, with them, zealously care for the spiritual animation of the people, as well as their social and economic welfare.
- Following Capuchin tradition, let them move wholeheartedly among the people of every state of life not letting their gospel activity be linked to the security of economic re-sources or to social prestige, but place their trust in God and in the efficacy of the gospel life.
- As they evaluate historical, religious, social and cultural conditions in light of the gospel, let them act in a spirit of charity, with the freedom of the sons of God, and impelled by a prophetic spirit.
- In dialogue with the other Christian churches and with the various religions, let them respectfully seek the signs of God’s presence and the seeds of the Word present in the different cultures, discerning their authentic values, being open to them as a means of acquiring deeper understanding of the very mystery of God and contributing to their growth through the witness of our charism.
- Let them also promote those changes that foster the coming of a new world and be attentive to ideas that influence the mentality and activity of peoples.