Every Believer Should Be a Missionary, Pope Says

VATICAN CITY, MAY 11, 2001 (Zenit.org).- Every Christian believer, and not just those who take vows, should become a missionary, John Paul II said today.

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“All believers are called to ´prepare the way of the Lord,´ casting all fear and doubt aside,” the Holy Father told members of the Higher Council of the Pontifical Missionary Works, who are in Rome for their annual assembly.

“Conscious of their own poverty,” the Pope added, “all are called to accept Christ´s invitation to ´go out to the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.´”

The directors and collaborators of the Missionary Works came to the papal audience with Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, recently appointed Vatican director of the missions. The agency fosters missionary awareness and sends personnel and materials to promote evangelization around the world.

The Holy Father told the 114 national directors of the Missionary Works that, following the Jubilee, it is necessary to launch “a new missionary era.” The salient characteristic of this new era is that the mission is no longer the monopoly of consecrated persons, he said.

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