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Africa: Theologian Calls for Rekindling of Missionary Awareness

Fr. Donald Zagore Cites Challenge for Future

“A times, particularly in Africa, there is the impression that the duty of announcing the Gospel falls exclusively to consecrated persons. Now is the time to promote new missionary awareness in Africa to sustain the identity and activity of all the baptized,” according to theologian Fr. Donald Zagore, a member of the Society of African Mission SMA, in comments to Fides News Agency. “But ‘the Church is missionary by nature ’ (Ad Gentes 2), a statement that sums up the primary vocation of all Christians, namely to embrace the Church’s intrinsic mission to announce Jesus Christ and his Gospel in every manner.”

The theologian remarked, “the so-called ‘good Christian’ thinks it is sufficient to fulfill the obligations of the Church without feeling intimately connected with her activity to announce Jesus and his Gospel ”.

He added, “this is a great preconceived opinion between the Church and society. What is celebrated with such fervor in the Church is often far from being lived in society. It is even worse when Christians attempt to enter the dynamics of mission assuming appellatives such as missionaries, apostles, prophets, moderators, pastors, simply to feel they are better Christians than others, invested with a special power to announce Jesus and his Gospel”, the missionary continues, dwelling on certain risks for the communities of the faithful in Africa.

Fr. Zagore concludes: “This attitude is unfortunately fed by false ideologies according to which missionary activity pertains solely to consecrated persons. The work of announcing the Gospel is not only for consecrated men and women it is the duty of all Christians. To proclaim Jesus and his Gospel should be the leitmotiv for every baptized person, each according to charisma and vocation. Titles are not necessary for the first calling in the Church which is to announce Jesus Christ and his Gospel. With our baptism, we have all received the mandate to carry Jesus and his Gospel to the whole world”.

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