15 August 2019
Dear Parish Priests, PPC Chairs and the entire people of the Archdiocese
here are two important events which will soon be happening in the Archdiocese. The first is the Archdiocesan Synod where the people of God will gather around their shepherds to prayerfully discuss and reflect on how we as Catholics are called upon to live out our missionary calling in the world today.
It is a time for renewal, refocusing and recommitting ourselves, one and all, to a life of missionary discipleship. We ask for your prayers and your continued commitment to the synod process, which culminates in the Synod happening on the 20th and 21st of September.
The second event is the centenary celebration of the encyclical Maximum lllud, released by Pope Benedict XV. This encyclical called on Catholics to bring the Good News to all peoples (Missio Ad Gentes). To commemorate this anniversary, Pope Francis has declared October 2019 to be an Extraordinary Month of Mission (EMM). This special month of prayer and action calls us all to renew our missionary commitment. We are called to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with all peoples.
The Archdiocese has prepared a resource package for all parishes, sodalities and groups containing guides for para-liturgies and prayer services; teaching material for each level of catechesis; information on how to pray the mission rosary; youth group activities; material to enrich homilies, and more. It is our wish that you use this material in your parishes, or any other material you deem suitable, to enrich your celebration of this anniversary, deepen your own conversion, and help you be missionary disciples in the world.
We will launch the Extraordinary Mission Month at the conclusion of the Synod, and conclude it at a mass to which all in the Archdiocese are invited. The concluding mass for the Archdiocese will be held at St Dominic’s School for Girls, Boksburg, on the 19th of October. We begin at 9am with a procession of sodalities, groups and parishes, followed by mass at 10am, and then entertainment and food will be available until 2pm, when we will disperse, ready to celebrate in our parishes World Mission Sunday on the 20th of October.
We ask you to pray with us the prayer for this Extraordinary Mission Month, remembering that we are called to be missionary disciples of Christ, always and everywhere, not only during the month of October. We are all baptised and sent, we are the Church of Christ on mission in the world.
when your only begotten Son Jesus Christ rose from the dead,
He commissioned His followers
to ‘go and make disciples of all nations’
and you remind us that through our Baptism we are made sharers in the mission of the Church.
Empower us by the gifts of the Holy Spirit to be courageous and zealous in bearing witness to the Gospel, so that the mission entrusted to the Church, which is still very far from completion, may find new and effective expressions that bring life and light to the world.
Help us make it possible for all peoples to experience the saving love
and mercy of Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
One God, forever and ever.
+Buti Tlhagale o.m.i
Archbishop of Johannesburg
Auxiliary Bishop fo Johannesburg