Q: Archbishop J, Why an AEC Missionary Congress?
Pope Francis has called for an extraordinary mission month in October 2019. The bishops of the Antilles, in response to this request are hosting a missionary congress in Trinidad and Tobago September 19–22. Our desire is to call the whole Church to mission.
In our workbook for the congress, the bishops give the rationale for the extraordinary mission month:
A hundred years ago, in 1919, Pope Benedict XV published the first encyclical on the missionary nature of the Church: Maximum Illud. Pope Francis considers this centenary anniversary as a providential occasion to call on the Church to renew itself and become ever more prepared to work, pray and give financial support for our common mission to bring the Gospel of Christ to all peoples (1, Baptised and Sent, AEC).
The overall theme of the extraordinary mission month is Baptised and Sent: The Church of Christ on Mission in the World. The Holy Father is reminding all Catholics that by virtue of their baptism, they have been called to full active participation in the Church. Baptism marks our entry into the Church and our call to become ministers.