Promoting Catholic missions
Description: The object of missionary activity is to bring the light of the Gospel to new races and to form new Christians. However, the ultimate goal of missionary endeavor is to establish the Church on sound foundations among non-Christian peoples, and place it under its own native hierarchy.
Implementation: We should like first of all to touch here briefly on the progress that has happily been made. In 1926 the number of Catholic missions amounted to 400, but today it is almost 600. At that date the number of Catholics in the missions did not exceed 15,000,000 while today it is almost 20,800,000. At that time the number of native and foreign priests in the missions was about 14,800; today their number is more than 26,800. Then all Bishops in the missions were foreigners; during the past 25 years 88 missions have been entrusted to native clergy; moreover with the establishment of the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy and the appointment of native Bishops in quite a few places, it has become more apparent that the religion of Jesus Christ is really Catholic and that no part of the world is excluded from it. (Papal Encyclical, Evangelii Praecones, 2 June 1951).
Claim: Missionaries in foreign lands who die in the fulfilment of their sacred duty are seeds destined, when God so wills, to bear abundant fruit. Wherefore the Apostle Paul asserted: "We glory in tribulations." St. Cyprian, Bishop and Martyr, consoled and animated the Christians of his day with these words: "The Lord has willed that we should even rejoice over persecutions because, when persecutions occur, then the faith is crowned, God's soldiers are put to the test, and heaven is opened to martyrs. We have not enlisted in an army merely to think of peace and to decline battle, seeing that the Lord, the master of humility, tolerance and suffering, has taken the first place in the conflict, that He might first do what He taught us to do and that He might Himself first endure for us what He exhorts us to endure." (Papal Encyclical, Evangelii Praecones, 2 June 1951).
Type Classification: G: Very Specific strategies