Let’s Be “missionary disciples”: Catholic Bishop in Cape Verde to Christians, Youth

Bishop Ildo Augusto dos Santos Lopes Fortes of Cape Verde's Mindelo Diocese. Credit: Mindelo Diocese

Bishop Ildo Augusto dos Santos Lopes Fortes of the Catholic Diocese of Mindelo in Cape Verde has called upon all the baptized, especially young people in his Episcopal See, to foster a missionary lifestyle amid “uncertainty and disorientation”. 

In his pastoral letter issued Monday, October 2, Bishop dos Santos cautions the youth against fear despite the fact that “life is full of challenges.”

“In these times of uncertainty and disorientation, each and every one of the baptized, members of the Church, must carry out their role as missionary disciples ever more lovingly, zealously and joyfully,” he says.

The Portuguese-born Catholic Bishop adds, “It is not easy in this society, where the stereotype is to exclude God and the spiritual dimension; at most, it is tolerated as a private matter, but without the right to make its presence felt in the public sphere.”

He calls upon young people to “not hesitate to stand up in haste to affirm yourselves as missionary disciples of Christ.”


Bishop dos Santos encourages pastoral care to senior citizens. He says, “We cannot forget our elderly, who played an important role in passing on the faith, with the help of the means and possibilities available to them.”  

“We are the fruit of their fidelity and love for the Gospel and the Church. Today, they can be very useful to the work of evangelization,” the 58-year-old Catholic Bishop, who has been at the helm of Mindelo Diocese since his Episcopal Ordinary in April 2011 says about senior citizens. 

He continues in reference to the elderly, “The Church calls them missionaries of prayer. In our communities, the number of elderly people is increasing, so in addition to the care we should give them, we could create ways for them to feel involved in the mission project.”

In his October 2 pastoral letter, Bishop dos Santos calls upon young people to honor senior citizens by paying them tribute on the World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, which Pope Francis established in July 2021 to be celebrated on the Sunday closest to July 26, the Feast of Saints Joachim and Anne, the grandparents of Jesus Christ. 

In his pastoral letter, the member of the Clergy of Lisbon in Portugal describes mission as “a gesture of love”.

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Mission, he adds, involves “a rush to set out to proclaim the love that inhabits us. Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel.”

“Proclaiming the Gospel to the people of our time is undoubtedly a service rendered to the community of Christians, as well as to the whole of humanity,” Bishop dos Santos of Mindelo Diocese in Cape Verde says in his October 2 pastoral letter.

João Vissesse is an Angolan Journalist with a passion and rich experience in Catholic Church Communication and Media Apostolate.