Dear Brothers, Hundred years ago, Pope Benedict XV released the encyclical Maximum Illud, which called on Catholics to bring the Good News to all peoples (Missio Ad Gentes). To commemorate this anniversary, Pope Francis has declared October 2019 to be an Extraordinary Month of Mission (EMM). This special month of prayer and action calls us all to renew our missionary commitment. We are called to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with all peoples.
For the four weeks of October 2019, the Holy Father has approved four themes:
1. ENCOUNTER WITH JESUS: A personal encounter with Jesus Christ living in His Church.
2. TESTIMONY OF MISSION: The witness of missionary saints and martyrs.
3. MISSIONARY FORMATION: Biblical, catechetical, spiritual and theological formation for mission.
4. MISSIONARY CHARITY: Missionary charity as a commitment to support the Church’s missionary activity and communities too poor to support themselves, through Missio.
As Oblates, we have been ministering to people here in Japan for the last seventy years and in Korea for almost thirty years. Through these four themes approved by Pope Francis let us renew and reawaken our commitment to mission. I think the EXTRAORDINARY MISSIONARY MONTH is a good opportunity for us to begin a serious reflection on our mission both in Japan and in Korea. I wish and pray that the study session we will have in October with Bishop ABELLA may enable us to look at our past, evaluate our present and look into the future with hope.
Bradly Rozairo OMI