By CBCP News
April 29, 2021
Pope Francis exhorted the Philippines’ religious and consecrated persons to be open to new roads of evangelization.
The 84-year old said the church must be open “to fresh ways of bearing witness to the joy of the Gospel and forming vital communities of missionary disciples”.
“In this way, they will be renewed in their love of Christ and in fidelity to their proper charism,” Francis said.
The pope made the statement during this year’s virtual convention of the Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines.
His message was relayed by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State. It was read to the participants by Archbishop Charles Brown, Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, on April 28.
The biennial assembly also marks the 65 years since the establishment of the associations of men and women superiors, and the 50th anniversary as a joint association, AMRSP.
As the country marks the 500 years of Christianity, the pontiff honored the contributions “of generations of consecrated persons to the building up of the Church.”
He said that these concrete efforts are manifested through their “multiple apostolates and works of charity”.
The prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life also noted their concern for and commitment to the poor.
Brazilian Cardinal João Braz de Aviz said the country’s consecrated men and women promoted the “prophetic witness of the Gospel” through their works for justice, peace, and integrity of creation.
A concrete fruit of the evangelizing power that many religious congregations have carried out their mission, he said, “are the countless vocations that make it possible for the Philippine Church to go out on mission today”.
Braz de Aviz expressed hope that their “creative and passionate” effort continue to be sustained “through freshness, creativity and the opening of new paths to pass on the gift”.