Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - With the Concelebrated Mass "De Sancto Spiritu" this morning presided over by Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and Grand Chancellor of the Pontifical Urbaniana University, the academic Year 2012-2013 was inaugurated. "We all know well - said Cardinal Filoni in his homily - that the existence and activities of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples are directed to proclaiming the Gospel, in support of the particular Churches in mission territories, and the formation of evangelists and personnel of those particular Churches. Even this University has its raison d'être in the theological-cultural preparation of the personnel destined to the young Churches or in the process of formation."
The Cardinal’s reflection therefore covered three aspects: the cultural background as preparation for the history of salvation in Jesus for all nations; our mission as priests, religious and laity at the service of God and of the Church; the Year of Faith. On the first point, the Prefect of the Congregation stressed the need for "the Church to prepare the messengers of salvation necessarily baring in mind two poles, which are part of the same logic: the Incarnate Word of God in Christ, and the History of humanity that the Second Vatican Council wished to enclose under the biblical-evangelical category of "signs of the times'." So the Cardinal said: "It is necessary to make a synthesis between 'culture, history and faith," so that the message of salvation shows its "universal effectiveness" in the cultural scene in which man concretely and historically lives."
Then focusing on formation, Cardinal Filoni stressed that "the cultural and theological formation is in sight and in function of the proclamation and service to the young Churches. As ordained ministers, such as men and women religious and as lay we are, for our vocation, directly involved in evangelization. We are called to place ourselves on the line of the messianic mission of Christ in a multiethnic, multicultural and multi-religious world."
Finally the Year of Faith is a favorable opportunity, even for the university community, for "a re-appropriation of faith in Christ Jesus." The Cardinal concluded: "Only if the object of our study is Christ and his revelation, we can be ready for the office of evangelizing and serving. Only if we love evangelization we can be ready to evangelize ... The missionary or evangelist, is actually born of faith, lives for faith, suffers and dies for faith. "
At the Concelebrated Mass in the Chapel of Collegio Urbano, the Academic Act followed in the Aula Magna of the University with the report of the Rector, the inaugural lecture of prof. Giovanni Ancona on "The Christian faith. Basic elements of identity" and the award ceremony of the students. (SL) (Agenzia Fides 12/11/2012)