"Life in the Holy Spirit is the essence of mission,the core of why we do what we do, and how we live our lives.
Spirituality gives meaning to our lives
and motivates our actions.
It is a sacred gift from the Creator, the energy for affirming
and caring for life" (WCC, "Together Towards Life:
Mission and Evangelism in Changing Landscapes", n. 3).
With the election of Pope Francis we now close the chapter which dealt with the Five Popes who participated in the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, whether as Conciliar Fathers or as Theologians. We are very grateful to Fr James Kroeger, MM, for forwarding to us a poem, his own composition and the fruit of his deep, broad knowledge of the Documents of Vatican II.
Fr Laurenti Magesa is a priest in the Diocese of Musoma, Tanzania, who lectures on Moral Theology. He is also a writer and heads the Religious Studies Department of the CHIEA (Catholic Higher Institute of Eastern Africa, Nairobi, Kenya).
Fr Laurenti Magesa squarely faces the pressing question of the future of the International Missionary Institutes in Africa. They were founded in Europe first and branched out to work in Africa in the middle of the nineteenth century, but they retain their original outlook which must adapt to the African context. Fr Laurenti says emphatically that: "the future of the Missionary Institutes today depends upon their openness to inclusiveness and change". He states further, "in the future, it seems, membership will be much more fluid ... people will be incardinated in dioceses with a relationship of informed obedience to the Local Bishop.... This will blur the traditional distinction between foreign missionaries and the local clergy ... but it could be a difficult process and a source of tension within the International Missionary Institutes".
The following article, by Gerrit Noort and Mark C. Noort, is a follow-up to the World Council of Churches' concern regarding discrimination and the xenophobic attitude to immigrants in The Netherlands. The large number of immigrants there presents a threat and the authors suggest that this is partly due to the local population's ignorance of the newcomers' background. To counter this trend they seek to implement a Social Representations Theory. This "perspective provides a way to take into account the immigrants' intentions and their transformative power as the 'other'" and it promotes dialogue and mutual knowledge between the groups to encourage "participatory citizenship".
We want to share the fruit of the research being done in Cochabamba by Fr Alber Quispe Escobar on "Illustración, fiesta y religiosidad indígena-mestiza. Apuntes sobre las riformas de Francesco de Viedma en Cochabamba, 1784-1809": Loyal to the Spanish Monarch, Viedna and Nárvaes tried, not always with great success, to "make the Indians and 'Cholos' (hipanic creoles) of the region useful vassals and Christian men", while denouncing the clergy's abuse of the faithful. Thus, they also demanded the State to exercise a control over behaviour and beliefs which contributed to "public peace" and put the Church in the orbit of the Crown.
Blessed Pope John Paul II dedicated a full year, starting from October 2004 to October 2005, to the mystery of the Holy Eucharist. Drawing inspiration mainly from this Apostolic Letter and some other sources, Fr Odon Patrick Mpoyi Kandindi, is writing his doctoral thesis at the Urbanian University on the "Eucharistie, défi pour les communautés chrétiennes d'Afrique". His focus is on the Eucharist as a principle and plan of mission, and as the locus of human development and a place of reconciliation par excellence.
The SEDOS Residential Seminar on "The New Evangelization", held from 23–27 April, at Ariccia, was well attended (124) and much appreciated by the participants.
Sr. Nzenzili Lucie MBOMA, FMM,