Queretaro (Fides Service) - “Young people of the new millennium do not be afraid to carry the Gospel to the world”: This is the slogan of the 8th National Congress of Mexican Missionary Youth (8° CONAJUM) which opened yesterday, 31 July, in Queretaro (Mexico). The Congress is promoted by the Commission for Mission of the Mexican Bishops’ Conference with the Pontifical Mission Societies and Queretaro diocese as host, in preparation for the 2nd American Mission Congress (CAM2), in Guatemala in November.
The purpose of CONAJUM 2003, whose participants are young people aged between 15 and 30 years coming from every diocese in the country, is to study and reflect on the missionary dimension of Pope John Paul II’s apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte. During the four day meeting the young missionaries will reflect on the 6 themes connected with different aspects of missionary activity: “The encounter with the living Jesus Christ, in a time of profound transformation to communicate Him to others”; “Living spirituality for mission”; “Young agents in God’s missionary plan ”; “Mission, the life of the parish community”; “The universal mission in the hands of the particular Church ”; “who animates, forms and sustains the universal mission?”.
At the opening session yesterday afternoon at the Ecocentro Expositor in Queretaro, a message from Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples was read. In the Message the Cardinal reminds the young Mexicans taking part that the event in Queretaro “is a moment of special grace for the Church in Mexico which, aware of the prophetic call that Pope John Paul II made to the particular Churches in the American continent, “to extend their evangelising impulse beyond the continental frontiers” (Ecclesia in America 74), is determined to put out into the deep with hope (cf. Novo Millennio Ineunte, 58), with a intense programme of missionary animation in order to carry the Gospel to all men and women, particularly those who do not know him”.
In his apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte, the Holy Father “did not hesitate to propose also to you dear young people what he calls the high measure of ordinary Christian life, that is holiness”. The call to holiness, in other words, “not to be content with a mediocre life to settle for a life of mediocrity, marked by a minimalist ethic and a shallow religiosity” (NMI, 31), is addressed to men and women of flesh and blood, like you, Cardinal Sepe says in his message.
He goes on to say “the path of holiness is a path of mission”, because “mission derives from the call to holiness” (Redemptoris Missio, 90): we must therefore let ourselves be guided by the Holy Spirit and shaped by Jesus Christ to live the Mystery of his Love which opens to mission: “To the extent in which you let yourselves be guided by the Holy Spirit and shaped by Jesus Christ… you will live his Mystery of Love and like Him, the Apostle of the Father, you will love the Church and all men and women with a universal love, co-operating personally in his mission to the distant corners of the earth”. Cardinal Sepe ends his message urging young Mexicans to answer the Lord’s call with an open and generous heart: “Be generous witnesses and enthusiastic apostles of the Gospel!”.
The 8th National Missionary Youth Congress 2003 will end on 3 August has a intense programme which will start at 9 with a missionary march through the city streets to the per le Queretaro sports Stadium for the closing activities. At 10.45 Father Carlos Navarrete, head of the Missionary Youth League of the national PMS Office will give the last conference on “commitments and characteristics of the young missionary”. This will be followed by a moment of reflection and personal and community commitment. At 12.15 the young people will take part in a solemn celebration of Mass presided Archbishop Giuseppe Bertello, Apostolic Nuncio in Mexico. In the afternoon the young people will attend a Missionary Music Festival and the conclusion of CONAJUM 2003 with thanks and greetings. See
(R.Z.) (Agenzia Fides 1/08/2003; lines 50 – words 671)