What the world and families need is a renewal of faith. Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, made this observation during a Jan. 24th Mass he presided over in the Cathedral of the Diocese of Xuan Loc, Vietnam. The Mass marked the end of his pastoral visit in Vietnam, reported Fides.
The Italian prelate expressed his joy in celebrating with the faithful the 50th anniversary of the creation of the diocese of Xuan Loc by Blessed Paul VI on October 14, 1965.
In his homily, the cardinal acknowledged that the faithful of Xuan Loc have been preparing for this anniversary with a five-year program, which had the family at the center, and examined it in relation to the parish, the Church, charity, proclamation of the Gospel, and, this year, the mystery of the Eucharist.
Cardinal Filoni thanked the bishops who carried out the work and headed the diocese, as well as priests, religious and lay people. He encouraged them to have courage and “go ahead!”
Because this year marks the 50th anniversary of the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council and the missionary decree “Ad Gentes,” the cardinal reminded those gathered that Xuan Loc is the result of the Council, and, in recent years as a local Church, has “taken on the task of proclaiming the Gospel” and “making it the true family of God.”
Given the diocese’s task to proclaim the Gospel, Cardinal Filoni stressed how important it is that faith is renewed, so “our families and our parishes become God’s families.”
Recalling what the prophet Isaiah said about the mission of Jesus, he said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free.”
“Is there a mission more beautiful, more noble, bigger than this?” he continued, “This is your mission today! Not another, just this!”
In addition, he exhorted them to preach, as St. Paul said, “everywhere and always!” and urged them to reach out to the poor.
The cardinal concluded, urging the Vietnamese faithful “to make yours this same mission,” and to do so with the same enthusiasm of the Apostles and the missionaries that brought them the faith.