EUREKA 24: Discovering Catholic Treasury – through a Lenten lens!


A. What is it?
“Ad gentes” is the Second Vatican Council’s decree on missionary activity.

“Ad gentes” is a Latin phrase for “To the Nations.”

B. What does it speak of?

The document establishes evangelization as one of the fundamental missions of the Catholic Church…
… and reaffirms the tie between evangelization and charity for the poor.
“Ad gentes” also calls for the formation of strong Christian communities as well as strong relations with other Christians.
It also lays out guidelines for the training and actions of the missionaries.

“Ad gentes” consists of six chapters:
Chapter 01: Principles of Doctrine

The ‘Trinitarian mission’ is seen in the plan of the Father through Christ’s redemptive work now carried on in the power of the Spirit.
The Church is, by Her very nature, missionary

Chapter 02: Missionary Work Itself

Charity must be the driving force for all evangelistic zeal.
Share with all regardless of “race, creed, or social condition; it looks for neither gain nor gratitude!
Make it a true formation in morality and life. Involve the entire Christian community.
Missionaries must strive to build up and form Christian communities

Chapter 03: Particular Churches

Those ‘particular churches’ with plentiful resources should assist others and “this mission action should also furnish help to those churches, founded long since, which are in a certain state of regression or weakness”

Chapter 04: Missionaries

Missionaries must not be ashamed of the Cross and must be humble as their Master was humble. They must be willing to suffer all, even to shed their blood.
They need to be prepared “by special spiritual and moral training”
Familiarity with the customs of the people the missionary is sent to administer to is needed as well as fluency in the native tongue so as to share the Gospel most efficaciously.

Chapter 5: Planning Missionary Activity

Since the charge of proclaiming the Gospel in the whole world falls primarily on the body of bishops, the synod of bishops should give special consideration to missionary activity, which is the greatest and holiest task of the Church.
The “Propagation of the Faith,” which should direct and coordinate, throughout the world, both missionary work itself and missionary cooperation.

Chapter 6: Cooperation

All children of the Church “should spend their forces in the work of evangelization.” They do this first by leading a profoundly Christian life.

C. Pointers for Reflections

  1. The Great Call of Apostleship

The proper purpose of a missionary activity is evangelization

  1. “Ad Gentes” strongly reaffirmed the need for missions and salvation in Christ

“All must be converted to Him, made known by the Church’s preaching, and all must be incorporated into Him by baptism and into the Church, which is His Body”
“Those people cannot be saved, who, though aware that God, through Jesus Christ, founded the Church as something necessary, still do not wish to enter into it or to persevere in it.”
The decree taught not only the necessity of Christ, but the necessity of Peter!

D. What virtues/points can we pick up from “Ad Gentes” for this Season of Lent?

  1. Creating opportunities to speak and share about Christ
  2. Being a true missionary by “living in holiness”

E. Tips to practice these virtues

  1. Identify one person, every day, (for the rest of this season of Lent) to share about Christ and His Love!
  2. Doing our works by consciously being aware that “I am a Missionary of Christ”

May this Lent and the familiarity with “Ad Gentes” help us to grow in our acclamation: “Eureka – I have found the Lord”

CLICK TO READ the Full Text of “Ad Gentes” at:

God Bless! Live Jesus!

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