AMERICA/ DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - “THE AMERICAN MISSION CONGRESS CAM 2 IS A CALL TO OUR DIOCESAN CHURCHES, TO OUR YOUNG CLERGY IN PARTICULAR, TO REALISE THAT MISSIONARY WORK IS A TASK FOR ALL NOT ONLY FOR RELIGIOUS” SAYS BISHOP OF BARAHORA
Santo Domingo (Fides Service) – “The importance of CAM 2 lies mainly in the fact that for our diocesan churches and for the young priests in particular it is a call to realise that mission is a task for all and not only for religious” Bishop Rafael Felipe Nunez, head of the Commission for Missionary Pastoral of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the della Dominican Republic, said in an interview with Fides:
Bishop Nunez how important is CAM2 for the Church in your country?
CAM2 is very important for the renewal of our missionary spirit, for evangelisation and for growth in the faith. CAM2 is a call to our diocesan Churches, the young clergy in particular, to realise that mission is a task for all, not only Religious men and women. Moreover, fired by the enthusiasm of the Congress participants, we are forming diocesan missionary teams with the task of organising Missionary Childhood, Missionary Youth and Missionary Families so that our parishes may realise that they are missionary parishes.
How many delegates have been sent to CAM2 from your country and what message are they carrying?
We are represented by 30 delegates: 1 bishop, 13 young priests, 3 women religious, 2 seminarians and 22 lay people. The message they carry is that our dioceses share in the universal mission of the Church starting from our littleness and poverty, collaborating with other Sister Churches not only because today the world has become a global village, but because our life is by nature missionary and we must realise as Christians that many men and women do not live the joy of the resurrection.
How is the spirit of mission “ad gentes” developing in your country?
There is growing awareness of the Church’s missionary nature and of our responsibility for the Church’s universal missionary activity. Signs of this growth include new courses in Missiology in Seminary Curricula and a growing number of seminarians anxious to work in other more needier dioceses. Every year there is more support and animation of the missionary month of October as we can see by larger collections on Mission Sunday and Missionary Childhood activity.
How many missionaries “ad gentes” does your country have?
I am not certain that these figures are updated but we have about 70 missionaries in various parts of the world: 2 diocesan priests in the archdiocese of Santiago de los Caballeros en Bayamo Cuba; 14 Neo Catechumen Way priests: 5 in Spain, 4 in Italy, 1 in Haiti, 1 in Antigua, 2 in Peru and 1 in Brazil); 1 missionary priest MSC in Curacao, 1 missionary MSSCC in Cameroon Africa. Sisters del Cardinal Sancha have 36 Dominican missionaries in Spagna, Colombia, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, USA, Cuba, Italy. The Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour have 13 missionaries in Nicaragua, Peru, Canada, Puerto Rico, Bolivia and Burkina Faso. The Augustinians have a missionary Sister working among the native peoples in the Peruvian forest and another in Korea. (R.Z.) (Fides Service 27/11/2003; lines 47; words 527)
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