New initiatives

"These demands that pastoral priorities be constantly reviewed ... focusing on situations of social and ecclesial marginalization which continue to challenge us. These needs must lead us, in faithful creativity, to search for new forms of pastoral activities which better respond to the needs of the men and women in our world."(XXIII General Chapter, 2003, Orientations, 7.1)

 

 

1. Mission in Urban Areas – Our Shrines and Churches as “a home” for the poor and abandoned of our cities.

 

We have communities and churches in many of the major cities of the country. We commit ourselves to utilizing these resources for the service of the urban poor. To do so, soon after the new communities are formed, the Superiors/Parish Priests/Rectors of our Shrines will come together and, with the help of competent experts, devise ways and means of renewing our mission in this area in such a way that our urban communities and churches will be truly at the service of the poor and marginalized, seeking a sense of belonging and acceptance.

 

2. Ministry to Youth and Young People

 

Both units of the Congregation have personnel dedicated to the evangelization of young people. We recommend that this commitment to youth ministry and evangelization be continued and strengthened, with the Congregation investing in the training of competent lay youth ministers, who can engage in peer ministry. We suggest that a Commission, comprising members of both units and competent lay, be set up to undertake this task and that suitable provision be made for this.

 

3. Family

 

While we recognize the importance of building basic ecclesial communities, we also recognize that such communities will come to nothing if we do not first give our attention to the families that comprise those communities. We suggest that during the coming quadrennium, a symposium be conducted by professionals in this field that will enable us to better understand the social reality that is family today. This symposium will be attended by confreres and those lay partners who work with us in the area of family life. Following the symposium, a selected group of both confreres and lay will attempt to develop a program for strengthening family life for our various ministries.

 

4. Migrants.

 

As Redemptorists we come across both the migrants themselves and their families in our various ministries. We propose that both units actively engage themselves in the pastoral plan drawn up by the Conference of Redemptorists of Asia-Oceania in relation to this matter. We further propose that if a confrere is not available for working in this ministry on a full-time basis, a competent lay person will be employed to coordinate the efforts of the various communities in responding to the needs of migrants and families. This person could be assigned to the Office for Social Concerns. An important dimension of this work will be that of networking with other Units of the Congregation abroad, as well as the Episcopal Commission for Migrants, to enable us offer better services to the people concerned.

 

5. Justice, Peace and Care of the Environment

 

For the next quadrennium, we propose that a seminar-workshop be held that will be devoted exclusively to the study of Catholic Social Teaching and how it is best applied to the Philippines. An essential component of this will be the workshop wherein participants will devise methodologies that will enable us to educate people in this important area of the Church’s mission in such a way that they can become agents of change in their own communities.

 

6. Lay Empowerment

 

We propose that in the coming quadrennium, the Apostolic Secretariats of both units, in conjunction with our lay partners, honestly evaluate our current efforts in this area and propose ways and means by which lay empowerment can be further promoted in our various ministries. This could include having lay people share their concerns with us prior to our preaching at Sunday Eucharist; being encouraged to share our charism through regular meetings and faith-sharing; being given opportunities to challenge us on how we live our vows and allowing them to express their expectations of us as religious. Such suggestions should be submitted to the EC which will then facilitate discussion and possible experimentation of such suggestions.

 

7. Mission in an Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Perspective

 

Keeping in mind that in Asia mission should be undertaken from the perspective of the three-fold dialogue of dialogue with cultures, dialogue with the poor and dialogue with other religious traditions, we are conscious that our nation, while predominantly Catholic, has significant numbers of our brothers and sisters who belong to other Christian denominations and other religious traditions. If we as Redemptorists are to be faithful to the three-fold dialogue of mission then serious consideration must be given to how we work with other religious traditions and Christian denominations in the work of building up God’s Kingdom. In this, special attention needs to be given to the increasing influence of Pentecostal churches throughout the country.

In order to help us to carry out our mission of proclaiming the Kingdom, we ask that the Faculty of SAT-MI, in keeping with its Vision-Mission, devise suitable summer programs that will address these issues and equip confreres and lay collaborators with the necessary skills in this area.