“I am very sorry that I had to postpone my trip to the Congo and South Sudan. Going on a mission is not easy in my life. But your prayers and examples encourage me, and I am confident that I can visit those people I hold in my heart,” the Pope addressed the White Fathers, declaring, On July 3, we will bring Kinshasa to Saint Peter’s Basilica. On Sunday, a papal mass was to be held in Kinshasa, which the Holy Father would present to the large Congolese community in Rome in the Vatican Chapel. “I remember the 150th anniversary of the foundation of your institution, which we celebrated with the Sisters of the Mission. Please pass on my greetings to them,” the Pope said to the White Fathers.
“The Message as Prophetic Testimony” was chosen by the members of the Congregation of Missionaries in Africa as the theme for their grand class this year. They lived out the days of deliberation with gratitude and a hope that filled the Pope with satisfaction.
Looking back with gratitude is a sign of good mental health, and it also fuels the flame of hope. He who cannot thank God for the gifts he has received throughout his life, however painful or difficult, cannot wait for God’s surprises with a spirit of hope and an open heart, trusting in the providence of God. This spiritual position is important for the fulfillment of the calls that the Lord carries out with His Spirit and His Word. A community that can give thanks to God and brothers, as they help each other to hope in the risen Lord, attracts and supports the invited. So keep it up, with gratitude and hope! Pope Francis encouraged white fathers.
He added that they could be faithful to the charisma of Cardinal Laviguere, founder of the congregation, if they remained faithful to Christ and his gospel even in a changing Africa.
“You are the salt of the earth. And if the salt is tasteless, how can it be restored?” (Matthew 5:13) Cardinal Lavigerie used to say: “You are apostles, you are but apostles.” And the apostle of Jesus Christ does not violently change his religion, he is not a guide. The Pope stressed that the proclamation of the Gospel has nothing to do with evangelization. The messenger is neither a manager, nor an educated lecturer, nor a magician in information technology. The Prophet saw. This is true always and everywhere in the Church, but it is especially true of missionaries who perform the so-called First Annunciation or often serve in Muslim religious areas.
What is a certificate? It basically means two things: prayer and brotherhood. To be open to God and our brothers. First, to be in the presence of God in the worship of holiness every day. Draw life force from there to stay in Christ, and this is the first condition of the mission.
This is the paradox of the mission: You can move forward if you stay. If you can’t stay in the Lord, you can’t move forward
The Holy Father warned.
Then he hinted that it was recently opened by Charles de Foucault, who is revered by the universal Church as the patron saint of the desert. His charismatic appeal also communicates many messages not only to missionaries but to all Christians of our time. “Based on Charles de Foucault’s strong experience with God, he changed so greatly that he felt that everyone was his brother. Prayer and Fraternity: The Church must return to this essential essence, to this radiant simplicity, not of one level of course, but in riches Talents, forms of service, and institutions. But the key point is the original seed that takes us back to Pentecost and the first community. Prophecy is not primarily a single person dimension, but a collective dimension.”
The fraternity of white fathers also consists of members from many different countries and cultures. This is not an easy challenge, which can only be accepted with the help of the Holy Spirit. But this small community, nourished by prayer and brotherhood, aims to have a dialogue with the environment in which he lives, with the locals, with their culture. Far from being poor, they often face a lack of security and a predictable life. Here they experience the joy of gentle evangelism. This term was used by Saint VI. Pope Paul Evangelii nuntiandi In his apostolic will. Evangelization is the mission of the Church, the joy of the Church. Take this encouragement, which is still in force today, to give so much support to the message, “Pope Francis encouraged the members of the Congregation of White Fathers and recommended and blessed the protection of Our Lady of Africa.
The White Fathers’ Priestly Congregation is a Roman Catholic denomination founded by Cardinal Charles Martial Laviguere. It is headquartered in Rome and has no presence in Hungary.
The Congregation for Missions in Africa was founded by Cardinal Laviguere in 1868, with the primary aim of witnessing Christian love among Muslims in North Africa, but as the system developed, its main objective was to evangelize the whole of Africa. To do this, apostolic groups are formed primarily locally.
White parents strive to adapt as fully as possible to the local culture and oppose social injustice. They are completely subject to the local ecclesiastical authorities in terms of adaptation. All monks learn the African language in their work area. It also aims to educate indigenous priests from local communities. From the second half of the 20th century, pastoral service for African Christians who came to Europe was considered their new job.
According to 1989 data, 2,691 monks lived in about 600 homes. According to the 1995 data, there were 2,404 members in 473 houses, of whom 2,040 were priests. In 2019, the number of members of the congregation reached 1,191, including 1,061 priests, according to official figures. At that time, France, Belgium, Germany and Canada were the countries from which most parents came, but members of the community from the European and American continents were already very old and thus largely repatriated. In recent years, more than 90 percent of police officers have been from the African continent, with Congo, Burkina Faso and Ghana leading the way in terms of the number of occupations.
With the help of white fathers, Cardinal Charles Marshall Laviguere created the Order of the White Sisters in 1869 to support and help fathers. He received papal approval in 1909. In 1995, there were 1,336 nurses in 175 places.
source: Vatican Radio
Photo: Vatican News
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