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Paul CHERUTHOTTUPURAM, Kolkata says,
``The criteria for considering a confrere as a ``missionary`` and a territory as ``mission`` need to be considered.``
By Fr. Joseph Puthenpurakal SDB
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Kolkata, Mar. 7. Thank you for summing up for us Fr. Francis Alencherry`s mission report. He has done so well during the past 6 years as the Councillor for the Missions.  Since I used to go to Rome every year of the past  6 years to animate the group of SDB missionaries for the Missions, I can feel the great missionary ardour in what Fr. Francis has written.

Regarding the Criteria for considering a confrere as a ``missionary`` and a territory as ``mission`` I am sure the Chapter Members will come up with precise regulations.
But all their reflections cannot change the fact that the WHOLE CHURCH BY NATURE IS MISSIONARY. Either we are ``missionaries`` in the Church wherever we are [even in a highly advanced computer Centre with youngsters around us learning... or as a ``cook`` in a kitchen] or we are outside the Church. What is the meaning of ``Don Bosco was a missionary``? He did not go to Sout America with the first group. But he was and is a Missionary.

The impression  we have given to our young confreres that unless he is ``sent`` to a village context, he is not a missionary has done a lot of damage [not withstanding the good it has done]. A confrere with a wrong idea of ``missionary`` when asked to be the principal of a school or a college or a technical school may become unhappy and find no fulfilment. Our challenge is to do well with a missionary heart what we are asked to do. And not wait for the day to be in a village! to be a ``missionary``!

The Ad Gentes context is not only in a village, but is all over the world, that is the meaning of Chapter IV of Redemptoris Missio : THE VAST HORIZONS OF THE MISSION AD GENTES. That is also what is meant by the New Areopagus of which the same chapter speaks.

I am sure the Heart of Don Bosco which GC 26 is opening up these days will correct many of our wrong ideas and make us ALL MISSIONARIES  and challenge us to share the Word of God with greater relevance (culturally) with all those we come in contact.

The great loss of SDB vocations in the last sesennium may be also because young confreres did not feel that they were missionaries in the place where they were  busy from morning till late in the night. No ``busy`` MISSIONARY`` CAN BE LOST!
Fr. Joseph Puthenpurakal SDB


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