catholic missions

I recently attended an exhibit of our missions, called mission alive (I write from ireland). I was astounded to see what the idea of mission is now. I would certainly not be interested in contributing to this effort. There was almost no mention of God, Catholic, evangelization, conversion, Christianity, Our Lady, saints,sacraments, or basically any traditional mission words. (The word almost is there to cover what I missed or what was there extremely minimally The word catholic was in an outer tent as a prelude to worker and was the name of the Communist newspaper) at the particular exhibit there were demonstrations of seed saversa group propagating irish native trees and vegetables for use in ireland, world debt relief water purification, how to write in chinese, foods from other countries,musical instruments from africa,the koran and other religious objects from non catholic faiths mostly pagan, there was lots of social work activities which I appreciate needs to be addressed but not instead of faith. does that go on with all missionsor is it just usMary Tim

Your main point is a valid one. While I admire Catholics for emphasizing social work in their missionary effort rather than the relentless proselytization characteristic of evangelicals, some Catholics do seem to have moved to a purely social model characteristic of liberal Protestants. A Catholic priest (convert from Methodism) who taught a class on spirituality at Duke Divinity School shocked one Baptist student of my acquaintance by saying that the Catholic idea of mission is to feed the hungry and help the oppressed and “not say a word about Jesus.” I had some trouble persuading this guy that the priest was not speaking for Catholicism as a whole.

However, I’d like to take issue with your characterization of the Catholic Worker as a “Communist newspaper.” Unless there is a completely different “Catholic Worker” in Ireland than in the U.S., your use of the term “Communist” is a serious sin against justice and charity. It’s true that the Catholic Worker criticizes capitalism and stands up for the working classes, but their “Aims and Means” statement explicitly criticizes governmental centralization and calls for a “distributism” much like that advocated by G. K. Chesterton. You seem to be using “Communist” to cover anything that criticizes capitalism. That’s a really distorted use of language.

In Christ,

Edwin

I didn’t know that was the state of Catholic missions either, and I have to admit, I’m thrilled about it.

Aggressive mission work has always struck me as insulting and hypocritical. Would you like a group of Islamic missionaries (I know they don’t really exist, but bear with me) showing up in your neighborhood and telling you how they have the “inside track” to heaven and that everything you know about religion and spirituality is wrong, and further, that you’re going to hell if you don’t convert? Chances are, you wouldn’t.

Why not treat others as you wish to be treated? Show a good example as a missionary, and then when someone asks, “Dang, you’re a genuinely good person,” then start talking about Jesus, hell and such.

Catholics get upset with evangelical succses in South America, and don’t seem to realize that they’re doing exactly the same thing to indiginous belief systems: destroying them.

[quote=GaryScott]I didn’t know that was the state of Catholic missions either, and I have to admit, I’m thrilled about it.

Aggressive mission work has always struck me as insulting and hypocritical. Would you like a group of Islamic missionaries (I know they don’t really exist, but bear with me) showing up in your neighborhood and telling you how they have the “inside track” to heaven and that everything you know about religion and spirituality is wrong, and further, that you’re going to hell if you don’t convert? Chances are, you wouldn’t.

Why not treat others as you wish to be treated? Show a good example as a missionary, and then when someone asks, “Dang, you’re a genuinely good person,” then start talking about Jesus, hell and such.

Catholics get upset with evangelical succses in South America, and don’t seem to realize that they’re doing exactly the same thing to indiginous belief systems: destroying them.
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Did you find the work of Mother Theresa offensive? She hepled many and I don’t think the dieing people of Calcutta would have seen it your way.

The Church’s social programs follow the admonition of St. Francis of Assisi: “Preach the gospel at all times; use words if necessary.”

JMJ Jay

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http://forums.catholic.com/images/icons/icon1.gif Re: catholic missions
The Church’s social programs follow the admonition of St. Francis of Assisi: “Preach the gospel at all times; use words if necessary.”

JMJ Jay

Amen! …and my protestant evangelical fireball preacher dad used to always say that
it is better to be the Word than to preach the Word.

Happy Birthday Katholicos! I’ve enjoyed reading your posts…

Peace.

A common joke in Central and South America when it comes to modern missionaries, is that they take the social service handouts from the Catholic missionaries during the week and on Sunday go to the Pentecostal or evangelical church to learn and hear the meat and potatoes Gospel.

For all the good they do, some Catholic “missionaries” may as well join the Peace Corp. For this reason, I stopped supporting groups like Maryknoll long ago, and send my money to other forms of Catholic outreach that spread the Gospel by deed AND word.

[quote=Katholikos]The Church’s social programs follow the admonition of St. Francis of Assisi: “Preach the gospel at all times; use words if necessary.”

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that is a great quote from st. francis. but you forgot this quote from Jesus: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” that’s a pretty good quote as well.

Amen! The Holy Father has spent a good portion of his time criticising capitalism.

[quote=Jesus]“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
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Just had to repeat that one. If we’re not going to follow the command of Jesus, what’s the point of missions?

[quote=JimG] Just had to repeat that one. If we’re not going to follow the command of Jesus, what’s the point of missions?
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good question jim. :thumbsup:

[quote=JimG] Just had to repeat that one. If we’re not going to follow the command of Jesus, what’s the point of missions?
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Which misunderstands what Francis said, and what centuries of Franciscan missionaries did. The question after Jesus’ command is “How do we best and most effectively preach the Gospel, and get these people to be baptized?”

In reference to Cental and South America, I believe it was Ralph Martin who said “The Church opted for the poor, and the poor opted for the Evangelicals”. So much for Liberation Theology. Stupid white guys imposing their world view on the natives…

It needs to be both/and (social Gospel and moral Gospel), not either/or. All you need to do is listen to JP2, and by that, I mean listen to all he has to say…

[quote=Michael C]Did you find the work of Mother Theresa offensive? She hepled many and I don’t think the dieing people of Calcutta would have seen it your way.
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Well the dying people of Calcutta probably wouldn’t. I don’t know how aggressive Mother Theresa was in her evangelizing.

Gandhi said something about many of those converts being rice Christians, and there’s some truth in that perhaps.

when mother theresa came here to ireland, she told the irish people to cling to their rosaries like a child clings to its mothers hand. The irish people haven’t heard since fr. peyton was here God rest both of them. The greyfriars(CFR’s) come to us and evangelize our young people and they love it . The youth 2000 mission team come and tell us about confession and the young people are delighted. to hear it its all new to them. Are we to say that the young people of africa don’t want to know about the rosary and confession. My sister in law is in africa my husbands uncle and aunt were out there for years and years. Of course they did social work organizing the building of schools and running them and getting clean wells dug none of them was medical but they helped people who needed it to get medical help and taught the people how to do things( they are all teachers.) but they also do religious things teaching choirs organizing night prayers but being religious (the uncle was a christian brother not a priest) their role was to tend souls. this world tends to mix roles laity has the job in the temporal sphere religious and clergy are to look after souls. and obviously doing the corporal and spiritual works of mercy My point is that souls are not being looked after . Isuppose that the pendulum has swung as usual too far when it is said to have swung too much the other way. Remember the Catholic Church is Christs Mystical Body and the ordinary way of salvation and we must share it it is not only for our cozy circle.

Well if the holy spirt touches those you are tending too words will become necessary so know how to evangelize when inquiring minds want to know. But not all minds want to know. Saint Peter said to give a reason for the hope that is within you. We are not merely social workers here but representatives on christ on earth. They are not mere statistics of the poor but persons who have spititural needs as well as economical or medical needs.

And yes the weakness in Liberation Theology was the absence of recognizing the spiritutal needs of the poor. That is something the evangelicals and fundamentilist made a priority and thus they have won mass conversions. We may feed and cloth more in latin americas but they convert more to a spiritual life. We really need to have both here without ignoring the other.

Amen! We need both the work and the word! I better not hear anyone in here dogging on Catholic Worker either. I know I know. I’m a liberal college hippie who preaches against capitalism without knowing a thing. I’d say, that about sums it up but I’m probably the most conservative anti-Capitalist at my University. I am definetly NOT a Marxist either.

I was baptized catholic five years ago. When I was young I was very Liberal. Now I have embraced Capitalism. I have been self employed for 20 years. I have found many Liberal minded people in my Parish including our Father. I was once walking past him when I overheard him remark how stupid Bush is. The one thing I have found in the Church that matters to me the most is Christ. I can find peace in Him even when peace is meddled with around me. I love the people in my Parish and my priest very much. As a child I was told many evil things about the Catholic Church. There was hatred so to speak towards it. I find no difference in the mind set of those who tend to hate Capitalism / America. But then I have come to love so many Capitalist. I love the freedom of choice that it entails. I know its evils as well as it good. I have seen greed in the poor here in America as well as in the wealthy. I have seen such goodness in the rich as well as in the poor. I have seen envy in the poor and very rarely compassion for the wealthy in them. I have seen poor rich people and very rich poor people. I make no distinctions between the rich and the poor as we all need Christ the same in our lives. So that we can see each other clearly and fairly. . I see this mostly in the line of Confession. What I love the most about my country is the freedom to choose what it is that I want to do when it comes to the entrepreneurial spirit. If I have nothing, here I can gain everything. I have been down, I have at times been up. The best gain that I have ever yet found in America has been Christ and His Church. Everything else wanted has pretty much turned to sand. I am to much of a rebel for someone to tell me what I should do or not do with my hard earned money. I have a God given soul that can make those choices all on my own. I like that and would die for it. So that others can continue to have th same. This is where actions speak louder than words. We should not be concerned with what others have nor judge them in it. What Capitalism does is give each of us the choice, the freedom to do with this life what God has intended for it. We have choices, in that freedom. This is God given, this is our Country. We have the opportunity to distribute our own wealth whether in be material of spiritual as we see fit to do. Letting someone else do this for us here on earth without choice always leads down a very dangerous path. We can all give freely, who is stopping us?

God is Good, and our Great County for the most part is very good. Just as our Church for the mot part is very good.

Peace in Christ
Rich

At the risk of diverting this thread, I’d like to observe (in response to rich’s post) that capitalism can mean a lot of things. I don’t want government centralization, but I do think the government can intervene to protect the freedom of the “little guy” against large corporations, which as Chesterton pointed out are really just a less radical form of socialism. Surely it isn’t beyond human ingenuity to devise a system in which the small entrepreneur is protected both from government interference and from Wal-Mart? We’re too all-or-nothing. We act as if Bill Gates swallowing up half a dozen companies is the same thing as some ordinary Joe starting up a corner store and making it work. At the point where “economic freedom” stops benefiting the common people and starts becoming an excuse for the accumulation of vast amounts of wealth in the hands of a few, it loses any value. But the answer to that is not government centralization, which simply concentrates even more wealth in the hands of even fewer.

Edwin

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