Filipinos urged to be missionaries to the world

Cardinal Tagle makes call as country marks Extraordinary Mission Month to revitalize and renew the missionary call
Filipinos urged to be missionaries to the world

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila reminds Filipinos that they are called on to be missionaries. (Photo by Joe Torres/ucanews)

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila has called on Filipinos to be missionaries and have a "personal encounter with Jesus."  

The Manila prelate made the call during the celebration of Extraordinary Mission Month on Oct. 18 at an event organized by Manila Archdiocese and the Pontifical Mission Societies of the Philippines.

In his message, Cardinal Tagle reminded the gathering that mission is not a "do it yourself" task but one that is communal.

"Mission is not just for few individuals but for all of us — even the children and the poor are part of the mission," he said.

"Let us encourage every baptized person ... you are sent by Christ and by the Church," he said, adding that "mission is in the community ... is ecclesial, the Church."

"Every baptized person, living the life of Christ, by sharing in his death and resurrection, is also sent on mission," Cardinal Tagle said.

He added, however, that to be a missionary one has to have a "personal encounter with Jesus." The cardinal said it is a requirement for growth in baptism and mission.

The cardinal added that mission is also fundamentally "witnessing to Christ," which means "bearing the Cross, especially the cross of helplessness."

He said that charity is central to the Church’s mission, and Catholics are called to share it with the world, especially those in need.

Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, the papal nuncio to the Philippines, cited the role played by Filipinos as missionaries.

"The Filipino people have met Jesus and many of them are good disciples because they believe that Jesus is alive and they are all over the world," Archbishop Caccia said.

He noted that all Filipinos are missionaries at home "based on their way of life, and all over the world where they continue to observe their strong faith."

The archbishop noted that Filipino Catholics "have actively displayed their calling as baptized Christians as they spread the Good News."

"I hope that being good disciples they can bring joy, peace, and love to this world which is often in darkness, to bring the light of Christ," he said.

The Catholic Church marked the 93rd World Mission Sunday on Oct. 20.

Pope Francis declared October as Extraordinary Mission Month to revitalize and renew the missionary call.

This year's celebration also commemorates the 100th anniversary of Pope Benedict XV’s apostolic letter on mission, Maximum Illud.

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