Pope Urges Salesian Sisters to Be 'Missionaries of Joy'

Also Warns Against ‘Terrorism’ of Gossip Within Religious Communities

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Pope Francis is warning religious sisters against gossiping, saying that it damages their call to be prophetic and joyful witnesses to the Lord.

The Holy Father met with the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, also known as the Salesian Sisters, on Saturday while they are in Rome for their General Chapter.

During the meeting, they elected their new General Council and reflected on their mission and pastoral action.

Founded by Saint John Bosco and Saint Maria Domenica Mazzarello, the Salesian Sisters’ mission focuses on the young and poor.

Speaking on outreach to youth, the Pope told the nuns to «be everywhere a prophetic witness and educative presence through an unconditional welcome of the young.”

Moreover, he exhorted them to recognize the paths best suited for each individual. He stressed doing so is necessary “to render their apostolic interventions effective in a context,” one “permeated by the virtual world and new technologies.”

While calling on them to realize the changes of this generation, the Pope told them to widen their gazes to recognize its true and urgent needs.

He also encouraged them to transform their houses into environments for evangelization in order to implement paths for change, pastoral conversion, and for helping young people become evangelizers of other youth.

While urging the sisters to sustain their lives with prayer, adoration, and through God’s Word, the Holy Father warned against gossip, the “terrorism” affecting religious life.

“Gossip is a bomb,” he said. “Never should you permit envy and jealousy among you.» 

“Be missionaries of joy, witness to the values that are proper to Salesian identity, particularly the value of encounter.»

Encounter, he concluded, is “a spring” from which they “can draw that love that revitalizes that passion for God and for the young.”


On ZENIT’s Web page:

Full Translation: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-s-address-to-salesian-sisters

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