Tagle to priests, religious: Embrace mission, not position

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VATICAN, April 28, 2015— Manila’s top churchman, Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, spoke during an international meeting on the Church’s teachings on missionary activity, where he reminded the clergy and the religious to seek their true mission and make it the priority of all pastoral activities.

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle (second from left) gave a talk during the International Convention on the 50th anniversary of the Vatican II decree, “Ad Gentes”, at the Urbaniana University in Rome on April 23, 2015. (Photo: Francis Dominic Vergara)

Speaking to hundreds of participants from different universities in Rome and from other countries, he said mission is not choosing where they want to go, but going where they are being sent, not out of their convenience, honor and fame, “but out of mission.”

The prelate reiterated that ordained life is embracing “mission and not position” and that the motivation of those to be ordained is not the status that they will receive but the mission that they will take part of. “We must be formed in the missionary heart of Jesus,” he said during the International Convention on 50th anniversary of Vatican II decree “Ad Gentes” held at the Urbaniana University in Rome on April 23.

‘Digital migrant’

Calling himself as a “digital migrant,” Tagle also tackled the task of evangelization in the “digital world”, which challenges the Church to use modern means of spreading the Gospel but without losing its message.

He also said that the call for new evangelization takes into consideration evolving cultures influenced by new media.

“…People nowadays can stay in front of their computers, in front of the internet for hours. The problem is they do not understand us anymore,” he said.

There are two movements in the mission, according to him. First, he said, is “the Church being sent to the worlds and the worlds that come to the Church.”

Mission of encounter

In other words, he said, missionaries “must not just be ready of being sent to the worlds but also be prepared and well equipped in receiving these worlds which come to them.”

Tagle also pointed out the importance of carrying out the mission through a “personal relationship”.

He said real mission comes in the person-to-person relationship, and does not only depend on the budget.

“A smile costs nothing,” said Tagle.

“Smile to the people you encounter in the bus… talk to them.”

The Manila archbishop’s talk on “Bishops and clerics: Addresses missionaries in the formation and in the pastoral activities” was more than 25 minutes long and interrupted by applause several times. (Francis Dominic Vergara/CBCPNews)

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