Mwenya Mukuka – Lusaka, Zambia
The Colloquium is a theological initiative in view of the Extraordinary Missionary Month of October 2019. Pope Francis announced the Extraordinary Missionary Month October 2019 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Pope Benedict XV’s Apostolic Letter, Maximum Illud.
African churches in mission ad gentes
Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) Zambia National Director, Fr. Edwin Mulandu who disclosed the development said that the academic seminar will be held from 29 July to 3 August 2019 under the theme: “Proclamation, Sacraments and Christian Witness in the Mission ad Gentes in Africa.”
Fr. Mulandu further revealed that thirteen Theological researchers and speakers drawn from the Church in English-speaking African countries would attend.
“Nigeria has three researchers participating while Cameroon, Zambia and Malawi have two speakers each. Ghana, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and South Africa have one speaker each,” he said.
The term "Ad Gentes" comes from Jesus when he commissioned his disciples and told them to "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations." It is also a term that comes from the Second Vatican Council's document, "Decree on the Missionary Activity of the Church." The word "mission" has its roots in the Latin word: missio -meaning "the act of sending." Ad Gentes Mission is therefore not just about missionaries going to other countries to evangelise. It is that but it is also a way of being within the universal Catholic Church. Everyone in the Church is a missionary.
Theological Reflection on the baptismal mandate
The seminar is sponsored by the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) International Secretariat and the Congregation for the Evangelisation of the Peoples (CEP) under the coordination of the Pontifical Missionary Union (PMU) International Secretariat.
Fr. Mulandu further said the Colloquium being a theological reflection would benefit the local Churches by stimulating deep Reflection on the baptismal mandate and the importance of Sacraments and Christian witness by Catholics.
“Am very positive that this Theological Colloquium is a form of animation which will be used to help the faithful and religious men and women to rediscover their true missionary zeal. We expect the people of God to be animated and take up a significant role in the missionary life of the Church as baptised Catholics,” he noted.
The Apostolic Nuncio to Zambia and Malawi, Archbishop Gianfranco Gallone is expected to officially open the seminar which will also be broadcast via live streaming on the Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Facebook page.