“It is easy to think that missionaries are only Salesian priests who guide us in our faith or the religious engaged with young people and nuns who spread the Good News. But this is not the case: the call to mission is for everyone, we must not forget it”: said to Agenzia Fides, Matthew Nguyen, a Salesian lay missionary referring to the context of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, and to the challenges of the evangelization in Oceania, on the occasion of the celebration of the Extraordinary Missionary Month, announced by Pope Francis for October 2019.
Noting that the mission is the task of every baptized person, not only of priests and religious, Matthew Nguyen reported: “At the Don Bosco Technical Institute in Rapolo, near Kokopo (province of Eastern New Britain) – he continues – we are grateful for the efforts and commitment of the laity that serve in a simple but extraordinary way. The lay volunteers dedicate their weekends to giving catechism lessons for the children of the newly established parish. Salesian cooperators share their talents and gifts in a very practical way. Every Sunday, these people go to different communities and offer basic medical check-ups to the villagers. This service helps people create a “healthy life plan” so that they can live long and in a healthy manner”. “This is mission”, he insisted, recalling the theme of the Extraordinary Missionary Month “Baptized and sent: the Church of Christ on mission in the world”. “We pray for all our missionaries, so they can be blessed and encouraged to continue their ministry. “Go and proclaim the Good News”, Christ tells us, and all these people, religious and laity, put into practice Jesus’ invitation”.