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Redefine Pastoral Work to Have Mission Dimension, Pastoral Agents in Kenya Told

Fr. Bonaventure Luchidio, the National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) in Kenya.

The need to ensure that the ministry of evangelization includes a dimension of mission as reaching out to the people of God has been emphasized at the ongoing three-day virtual workshop that has brought members of the Clergy and Religious involved in pastoral animation in Kenya.

“As agents of evangelization, we need to redefine and reimagine our pastoral work, so that all that we do and all that we say and all that we witness have mission as its dimension. In fact, we need now to start thinking and reimagining the name, we change the name from pastoral work to mission work,” the National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) in Kenya, Fr. Bonaventure Luchidio said Friday, September 25.

Fr. Bonaventure added, “When mission becomes our paradigm, our schedules, our time, our work plans or our programs, then the work of collaboration becomes easy and communication becomes effective.”

“When our work plans don't have mission as its dimension, we have moments of friction, division and uncooperativeness in the work,” the Kenyan Cleric explained.

He who was addressing participants in the workshop that has, on its second day, brought together the liaison committee members of the Commission for Clergy and Religious of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) and PMS Directors in Kenya.

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“Evangelization cannot be done without a missionary spirit, a spirit of self-giving, selflessness, conviction and availability,” the Kenyan Cleric further said.

He emphasized the need for fostering a collaborative ministry aided by modern means of communication saying, “As agents of evangelization, collaboration is key and media becomes our link.”

Collaboration, he explained, entails togetherness and oneness in mind, body, and spirit through which we “share our missions and purpose.”

The mission “is not a personal enterprise,” Fr. Bonaventure noted and added, “Let us embrace the attitude of oneness, togetherness, working for a common purpose and our common purpose is evangelization for the salvation of souls,” he added.

Making reference to the virtual gathering that brought together dozens of pastoral agents from 25 Kenyan Dioceses under the theme, “Communication for Collaboration,” he said, “This workshop should help us to connect with one another so that we can avoid the trivial concerns and personal interests that subvert the mission and the work of the Lord.

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“But it should help us to aim at the broader and bigger perspective of who we are,” he added in reference to the three-day virtual event set to conclude on Saturday, September 26.

He expects the sessions to provide the pastoral agents with “links and networks that will allow us and allow each and every one of us according to our ability to come out and answer with conviction, to the call: Whom Shall I Send?” he said.

The member of the Clergy of Kenya’s Kakamega Diocese underscored the need to be ready and committed to God service saying, “Let us be available and ready, as convinced and dedicated people who understand the mission, people who are ready for the mission.” 

He went on to reflect on World Mission Sunday that is scheduled to take place on October 18, highlighting the importance of evangelization and support for the Church’s mission territories amid COVID-19.

“I invite you in the month of October to become missionaries; and not just in October but from now henceforth, let mission become our dimension,” Fr. Bonaventure said and added, “in October 2020, our common purpose and shared vision and mandate is to re-examine and re-engineer our baptismal mandates to be ready and available for the mission.”

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He continued, “The field of mission is wide but we are like a field hospital where the sick come to us with their wounds, with their problems, with all that they have encountered in the battlefield, and we are the nurses.”

“We are the doctors, we are the health caregivers who will nurse, care, bandage, and heal the wounds of society. That we can only do if we have love and charity as our goal,” the PMS National Director in Kenya added.

He identified prayer and charity as effective tools to help heal the wounds of society saying, “With prayer and charity, we can touch the lives of many people.”

“With the spirituality and charisms of different congregations and religious institutions and even the diocesan spirituality united together, we can answer convincingly the call, Here I am Send me,” he said during the September 25 virtual workshop.