APOSTOLIC Nuncio to Zambia and Malawi Gianfranco Gallone has reminded Bishops and priests to serve the Church with charity and humility. The Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops has launched a series of activities to commemorate the Extraordinary Missionary Month of October 2019. Pope Francis announced this October to celebrate the 100th anniversary of pope Benedict XV’s Apostolic Letter, Maximum Illud, on the activity of missionaries in the world.
During the launch at the Cathedral of Child Jesus in Lusaka, Archbishop Gallone said bishops and priests must overcome the vanity of power which demands reverence and veneration, saying they must be authentic in order to make the Gospel more genuine in people’s lives.
“We are all disciples of Jesus. We are urged not to consider ourselves the owners, dominator of the faith of others. We are servants for the sake of Jesus,” he said.
“We must not dominate with power but serving charity knowing that Jesus did not come to be saved but to save and give life to others.”
Archbishop Gallone further said the true messenger loving and saving boldly leads always to be with the least and the marginalised; to be their voice and daily to overcome the temptation of sitting next to the powerful men on duty.
“Do not be afraid and live in the light. The authentic messenger of the Gospel is always interested to take care of others,” he said.
Meanwhile, speaking when he celebrated mass for the Catholic Bishops of Zambia and Catholic Secretariat staff in Lusaka, Archbishop Gallone appealed to staff working at the secretariat to be patient, committed and humble as they give support to the bishops in the ministry of evangelisation.
He also reminded the Catholic Secretariat staff of their baptismal mandate of being disciples that are called forth to be constantly united with Christ.
“We were baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity. We are called to manifest through our lives that we are disciples of Jesus Christ. He is instructing us, the people inside the Church, to discover the opportune love of Christ,” said Archbishop Gallone.
The activities lined up for the celebration of Extraordinary Missionary under the theme; ‘Baptised and Sent’ shall be organised at the Diocesan level before the final national event in October this year. The Catholic Church is celebrating the year 2019 to mark the 100th anniversary of Benedict XV’s Apostolic Letter Maximus Illud (November 30, 1919) that commemorated the activities carried out by missionaries around the world.
Pope Francis has acknowledged that although a century has gone by when his predecessor pope Benedict XV initiated the need for the evangelising the newfound lands, there still remains an enormous missionary task for the Church to accomplish, and he has called all the baptised to commit themselves wholeheartedly to task of evangelisation.