N'Djamena (Agenzia Fides) - "By decreeing the Extraordinary Missionary Month, the Pope wants to give each of us the opportunity to realize that our faith in Jesus Christ manifested in baptism is first and foremost a gift from God for which every day we must thank Him", said His Exc. Mgr. Martin Waingue Bani, Bishop of Goré, in southern Chad, in his homily on Sunday 6 October, in which the opening of the Extraordinary Missionary Month was celebrated.
"We do not reach faith alone or through our own efforts", stressed Mgr. Waingue Bani. "Faith comes from listening to the Word of God and this word cannot be heard unless there is someone who announces it. Each of us has had a mother, a father, a catechist, a priest, a nun, in his life, in short a testimony of the Gospel that brought him to the knowledge of Jesus". Therefore, this missionary month must also be an opportunity for us to remember all those who brought us the Gospel, starting with the first missionaries, the Spiritan and Capuchin Fathers and all the missionary congregations, male and female. Each of whom contributed with its own stone to the construction of this Church Family of God here in Doba, without forgetting the many catechists without whom Jesus Christ will not be announced in the depths of our villages", recalled the Bishop.
All this is made possible by the action of the Holy Spirit, added Mgr. Waingue Bani: "It is thanks to the action of the Holy Spirit that we can believe and love Jesus. This is why our faith is a free gift from God".
"Whether we have chosen to follow the Lord in marriage or in consecrated life, we are called to bear witness to our faith in the concrete life of each day. In this sense, being baptized or being a Christian means being missionary disciples, it is assuming the responsibility and suffering as Saint Paul says in the proclamation of the Gospel", the Bishop points out.
Mgr. Waingue Bani recalls that "the first Catholic mission in Chad, first in Kou Doholo and then transferred here in Doba, was opened under the patronage of Saint Teresa of the Child Jesus. This is why this cathedral that welcomes us for the opening celebration of this Extraordinary Missionary Month, bears the name of Saint Teresa of the Child Jesus because it is here that the first community of our diocese was born, a community that is the fruit of this seed of the Word of God, 90 years ago by the first Catholic missionaries, the French spiritual fathers Heriau and Columbus. All this to say that the first form of evangelization is first of all the witness of the life of prayer and charity". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 14/10/2019)