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Change and its effect on mission and church relationship: a Roman Catholic perspective.

I am grateful to the organizers of the Commission on World Mission and Evangelism (CWME) Pre-Assembly Mission Event for inviting me to share with you on the "Wind of Change: A Roman Catholic Perspective." Being myself a product of a missionary institute that brought the good news to many parts of Africa, I am an example, though perhaps not the best, of the fruit of the work of the missionaries. My interaction with other Catholic missionary groups has confirmed to me that the same Spirit is blowing through the broader community of missionary disciples of Jesus and that this is shaping the way we live and practice mission today. Things have, however, changed considerably between the time we joined as candidates and today, when we are full members participating in the missionary endeavour. Some of these dements were probably already there at the time but I now grasp them better from within and also from the perspective of a leader in the group.

My sharing will consider:

* the change in concept and practice of mission that I have witnessed;

* the importance of interreligious dialogue in mission today;

* the changes in the origins and destinations of missionaries;

* many people fishing in the same pond

Change in the concept of and practice of mission

As a missionary society that was founded in North Africa in 1868 by Cardinal Charles Lavigerie, my religious community, the Missionaries of Africa, (1) is part of the movement of the missionary Catholic Church in the 19th century. At the time, the missionary agenda was clearly one of conversion of those who did not know Christ ("primary evangelization") in order to save souls for Christ. These persons were to be catechized, baptized and educated in the faith. Great sacrifices were made. Missionaries were very generous with their time and resources in learning languages in the new cultures that welcomed them. They realized that this was indispensable in order to share the message of the gospel with the people.

Today there is a growing awareness that there is more to evangelization than just announcing the good news of Jesus. It is a "single, complex reality." (2) Over the years there has been a growing awareness of the multidimensional aspects of mission. (3) Building on previous synthesis and reflection from Roman Catholic, World Council of Churches, Evangelical and Pentecostal perspectives, Stephen Bevans and Eleanor Doidge have offered the latest synthesis of the "six essential components of God's mission in which the Church is called to share." (4) These are:

Witness and proclamation (5)

These include individual witness, communal witness and institutional witness (6) as well as common witness of the various Christian traditions (as in the 1989 Manila Manifesto (7)). The witness is to a person (Jesus Christ), a message (the gospel) and a way of life (sometimes against the current) in a particular context. (8) In the proclamation we have to keep in mind that the Spirit of Jesus precedes us. Thus proclamation has to be confident, faithful, humble, respectful, dialogical and inculturated, (9) but, as John Paul II notes, (10) always an invitation and never an imposition, (11) acknowledging one's own weakness and vulnerability with bold humility.

Liturgy, prayer and contemplation

Personal and communal participation in God's life obliges us to reach out to the boundaries and to cross them. (12) Prayer and contemplation opens one up to the needs of the entire world. A contemplative attitude is deeply related to dialogue with God and with the world.

Commitment to justice, peace and integrity of creation (JPIC)

This commitment to JPIC is part and parcel of witnessing to and proclaiming the gospel as individuals, as communities and as an institution. This implies a holistic approach to evangelization--social, economic, political, environmental and human rights issues are important: they include fighting new forms of slavery, taking the "option for the poor" seriously through solidarity, praxis (analysis/action) and a simple lifestyle. (13) A renewed humanity is impossible without a new heaven and a new earth (Is. 66:22; Rev. 21:1), thus the importance of being attentive to how we use the earth's resources.

The practice of interreligious dialogue

Interreligious dialogue takes place through presence, witness, service or direct proclamation. (14) It is "the norm and necessary manner of every form of Christian mission, as well as every aspect of it." (15) God's saving grace acts more widely than within the boundaries of the church in ways known to him and his Spirit. (16) It is also an important path to peace in the world!

Efforts of inculturation

Human experience and culture are important, revealing an openness to the divine that cannot be neglected. Context is all the more important and it will determine which model of inculturation is most appropriate (translation, anthropological, praxis, synthetic, transcendental or counter-cultural. (17)) It will be a "lengthy and difficult task" but unavoidable (18) because it requires a careful discernment of the values of the gospel and the counter values present in the culture that need to be challenged and evangelized.

The ministry of reconciliation

This is an urgent need in the brokenness of the world of today and demands a praxis (action-reflection-action). According to Robert Schreiter, (19) reconciliation demands a special focus in mission. Benedict XVI emphasized the choice to make reconciliation the first step before justice and peace in Africa in Africae Munus in 2011. (20) Reconciliation to God in and through Christ makes us ambassadors of Christ with a message of reconciliation for the world (2 Cor. 5:19b). It has to be lived personally, culturally, politically and within the Church. (21)

The living out of these six interconnected components is what makes mission a prophetic dialogue, to borrow the terms of Bevans and Schroeder. According to the context, one or the other component of mission will receive greater emphasis, but it will always be lived out as prophetic dialogue. It is necessary to enter respectfully into the other person's life and culture--and religion--to let go of one's own cultural and religious prejudices (dialogue) before speaking out in God's name and, at times, offering a word that challenges the status quo but that leads to fuller life (prophecy). I will dwell a bit more on the practice of interreligious dialogue and how we as a missionary society practise it and why we think it is important for mission today.

Since the Synod of Bishops of 1971 on "Justice in the World," (22) many missionaries have made explicit commitments to justice and peace. Several general leadership teams have people designated to help them implement decisions and orientations concerning JPIC and the current trends in mission theology. Like most of these groups, while not neglecting the first proclamation of Christ in areas where he is not known, (23) we, Missionaries of Africa, pay attention to justice, peace and integrity of creation (JPIC) and to interreligious dialogue and ecumenism as part and parcel of what it means to be missionaries. (24)

The commitment to JPIC challenges us all to be witnesses of the good news in word and deed. Though not always formulated in such clear terms, it has been a constitutive element of the way we have understood and practised mission over the years--for instance in promoting the rights of minorities, helping people to know and to stand up for their rights and questioning unjust structures. It is not enough to be charitable and to alleviate suffering; we must also tackle the structures of evil/sin/exploitation that make people suffer and that exclude them from the benefits of society's resources. It is at times important to speak for the marginalized, but the ultimate aim should be empowerment so that they speak for themselves. The ministries to small Christian communities and JPIC commissions are important in reaching this goal.

As Missionaries of Africa, we try to live JPIC also in our communities in order to support each other and to make our witness all the more credible. Knowing that we can never live it fully, we need an open heart for an ongoing conversion to the values of the gospel of Jesus. The recent Post-synodal Exhortation of Pope Benedict XVI, Africae Munus, offers us a road map that, together with the church family of God in Africa, we would like to follow. Justice and peace can happen, if we begin by allowing Jesus to reconcile us with God, with neighbour and with self (2 Cor. 5:18-20).

Greater place given to interreligious dialogue

As a missionary institute of men and women founded in North Africa, we have, right from the beginning, always valued and practised dialogue with Muslims. From the Second Vatican Council till today, various documents have spoken positively of the importance of interreligious dialogue. The conciliar document Nostra Aerate (25) sets the tone and the foundation by recognizing that all people share a common origin and have a common destiny in God (26) and by recognizing that "the Catholic Church rejects nothing of what is true and holy in these religions." (27)

Although in the original context this refers to the Hindu and Buddhist traditions, it has come to be applied to dialogue with other religious traditions like Islam and African Traditional Religion. (28)

Another document that has given an important orientation for those involved in interreligious dialogue is the 1990 encyclical letter of John Paul II, Redemptoris Missio. It is reconfirming to read the following words from John Paul II:
   On her part, the Church addresses people with full respect for
   their freedom. Her mission does not restrict freedom but rather
   promotes it. The Church proposes; she imposes nothing. She respects
   individuals and cultures, and she honors the sanctuary of
   conscience. (29)

In this encyclical, believers are referred to as "brothers and sisters." The dialogue in question is with persons and not with religious systems as was the case with Nostra Aetate. Dialogue as part of God's own mission (30) is, first of all, perceived as openness to God which leads to a proclamation of one's faith. (31) Just as the proclamation of one's faith does not exclude dialogue, the practice of dialogue does not exclude the proclamation of one's faith. (32) Entering into dialogue demands a great sense of coherence with one's faith and at the same time humility and the readiness to acknowledge that the dialogue can be enriching for each partner. (33) Dialogue and Proclamation, the 1991 joint document of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, spells out the relation between "dialogue" and "proclamation" by reminding us that witness is given in word and in deed and that they cannot be opposed. The deed confirms the word, but without the word, the deed can be misinterpreted. (34)

From the Asian perspective, to dialogue from a threefold perspective is very enlightening:

* dialogue with religions;

* dialogue with culture;

* dialogue with people and especially with the poor.

This dialogue and proclamation takes different forms: (35)

* dialogue of life: people share the same realities of life as persons;

* dialogue of (social) action: people collaborate in order to improve social justice and create a better world for all;

* dialogue of theological exchange: people share the richness of their spirituality and thus allow others to appreciate their spiritual and human values. They also discover the similarities and differences between their religions and this, sometimes, leads to soul-searching questions;

* dialogue of spiritual/religious experience: people rooted in their faith reflect and pray together (not the same prayer though) for a particular intention, e.g. the Assisi experience of 1986, 2000, and 2011. (36)

Our missionaries and Christians are often witnesses of the first and second form of dialogue and sometimes of the third and fourth form.

Even in the face of difficulties, prejudices and misunderstandings, especially about dialogue with Muslims (and to some extent with African Traditional Religion), we take seriously Pope Benedict XVI's 2011 call to the church in Africa not to give up on dialogue with Muslims:
   I call upon the Church, in every situation, to persist in esteem
   for Muslims, who "worship God who is one, living and subsistent;
   merciful and almighty, the creator of heaven and earth, who has
   also spoken to humanity." If all of us who believe in God desire to
   promote reconciliation, justice and peace, we must work together to
   banish every form of discrimination, intolerance and religious
   fundamentalism. In her social apostolate, the Church does not make
   religious distinctions. She comes to the help of those in need, be
   they Christian, Muslim or animist. In this way she bears witness to
   the love of God, creator of all, and she invites the followers of
   other religions to demonstrate respect and to practice reciprocity
   in a spirit of esteem. I ask the whole Church, through patient
   dialogue with Muslims, to seek juridical and practical recognition
   of religious freedom, so that every citizen in Africa may enjoy not
   only the right to choose his religion freely and to engage in
   worship, but also the right to freedom of conscience. Religious
   freedom is the road to peace. (37)

These, and similar official positions of the Church of late, still convince us and many missionary institutes that it is important to persevere in this relationship of dialogue.

Dialogue is not optional in mission today. It is part and parcel of it. It is something that has to be done ecumenically because all believers in Christ are concerned. As pointed out recently by the Archbishop of Algiers, Mgr. Ghaleb Moussa Bader in an interview on the Vatican Radio, (38) in the case of dialogue with Muslims:
   The coexistence of cultures and interreligious dialogue are no
   longer a choice but a fait accompli that is a given, both in Middle
   Eastern societies and in Western ones.... We are called to live
   together. We do not have a choice: either we confront each other or
   we learn to accept each other and offer mutual assistance to each
   other ... there is no alternative.... To live together does not
   mean wishing to erase our differences. The differences remain. But
   it is important to learn to accept that the other may think
   differently, that the other may belong to another religion. My duty
   as a Christian is to tell everyone that the human person is God's
   creation: the Christian person, the Muslim person, the Buddhist
   person, but also the non-believer. (39)

Our respectful dialogue with Muslims has inspired us to ask ourselves seriously the question of how we approach African Traditional Religion (ATR). In the words of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (1993), we have to be aware that:
   Traditional Religions constitute the religious context in which a
   good number of people live or have lived.

   Many recent converts to Christianity come from a background of
   traditional religions. This is true not only in those Churches
   where the gospel has been preached only within the last century or
   so, but also in some countries where the Church has been
   established for many centuries. Many of these converts live in
   cultures and contexts influenced by these religions. This is proved
   by the fact that at some important moments in their lives (such as
   sickness, danger, marriage, birth of a child, and funeral of a
   relative) they tend to have recourse to practices of their
   traditional religions or to prayer houses, healing homes,
   witch-craft, "prophets" or fortune-tellers. (40)

Do we consider Traditional Religion also as a dialogue partner or always as a religion whose members have to be enlightened and converted to Christianity? In several places in countries where we work, cultural centres are taking a new look at works of past missionaries in order to appreciate them and to show how these early missionaries, in their own way, contributed to a better knowledge and preservation of these cultures and how, in the present, their studies can be used to approach ATR in a positive manner.

Since dialogue is rooted in the Triune God who constantly reaches out to humanity in love, dialogue and prophecy are constitutive elements of being church and of evangelizing today. No group of believers of Christ can exempt itself from this major wind of change. It will at times require what David Bosch has termed "bold humility" (41) because in the process of sharing the gospel we find ourselves invited to an ongoing conversion so as to live more fully what we preach to others. (42)

Changing origins of missionaries

Whereas in the past most missionaries came from the North and were sent to the South or to the East, today there is a growing group of young missionaries from the South in International Missionary Societies and Congregations. In some cases, like our missionary family (with both male and female institutes) more than 90% of the candidates in formation are from the church in the South! It shows that to be a missionary is no longer, in some cases, to come from a completely foreign continent, culture and language. In missionary congregations (43) whose members do not all have to go outside of their home countries, the missionary might even be from the same village or the neighbouring village. This has its challenges but also blessings. Some people who are used to "foreign" missionaries do not immediately see their own brothers and sisters as missionaries. They are too close to home and know too much! On the material side, they do not always have the same financial support to offer communities for various social projects. However, once these "obstacles" are overcome and they are accepted, the "local" missionaries do contribute a lot to the evangelization of their own people because of the inside knowledge they have about some issues. They are a reminder of the universality of the gospel message and how it challenges all cultures.

Today some of these missionaries from the South are formators and, as in my case, in leadership positions and thus contributing to the practice of mission in their respective missionary groups and in the preparation of future missionaries. Alongside the Indigenous missionaries there is also a strong local church that, at times, could do without the missionaries but that chooses to ask for them for different reasons.

Change in mission destinations

Just as the origin of the missionaries is being diversified more and more, so is the destination of the mission. Whereas in the past the missionary movement was definitely a North-South and West-East movement, it is now multidirectional. There are missionaries from the South who are working in the North, in the East and in the South and missionaries from the East who are working in the West, in the North, South and East! This has, in some cases, been "facilitated" by the shortage of mission personnel in the North and in the West. However, there are cases where it is a deliberate choice in response to a particular charism of a missionary congregation or society. We have appointed members from Africa to work in international communities in the Philippines, Europe, Mexico and Brazil. They work in line with our option to be present to the local church as she tries to minister to Muslims or African communities and also to promote missionary vocations in view of Africa! Several other congregations work in parishes also for similar reasons. This is a form of collaboration and communion between churches that we did not think of in the late nineteenth or even a good part of the twentieth century.

Many people fishing in the same pond!

A phenomenon that is not new but that is assuming greater importance because of the globalization of communication is the movement from one Christian church to the other because of various reasons (the dynamic preaching and solutions proposed by some communities). Some Christian churches grow at the expense of others whose faith and practice are often falsely presented, with the intention of drawing people from one fold to the other.

This challenges us all to give a more solid grounding in the faith of our communities and especially a good and solid interpretation of the word of God. When understood properly, we will realize that there is more that unites us than that actually separates us and that we can build unity even in diversity and thus we will work more for the unity for which Jesus prayed (John 17).

In conclusion, all this might seem quite different from what our predecessors lived and practised as missionaries, but we believe that it is the same Spirit of Jesus that is blowing and that is shaping our human family for the greater glory of God. As missionaries we are called to participate in God's reaching out in love to the entire human race at all times in order to invite us all to join in the dance of love and life.

Additional references (in chronological order)

Francis Cardinal Arinze. A la rencontre des autres croyances. Le dialogue interreligieux, un engagement et un defi. Paris: Mediaspaul, 1997.

James Kroeger. "Bornes millenaires dans le dialogue interreligieux." Omnis Terra, 331 (1997): 33-39.

Denis Chidi Isizoh, ed. The Altitude of the Catholic Church towards African Traditional Religion and Culture: 100 Excerpts from the Magisterial and Other Important Church Documents. Lagos and Rome: Ceedee Publications, 1998.

Adele Brodeur, "L'Enseignement de l'Eglise sur le dialogue interreligieux." Cahiers de spiritualite ignatienne 110 (2004): 41-53.

Francis Anekwe Oborji. Concepts of Mission: The Evaluation of Contemporary Missiology. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2006.

Stan Nussbaum. A Reader's Guide to Transforming Mission: A Concise Accessible Companion to David Bosch's Classic Book. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2009.

Laurenti Magesa, African Religion in the Dialogue Debate: From Intolerance to Coexistence. Interreligious Studies, Vol. 3. Vienna: Lit Verlag, 2010.

Peter J. Henriot. "Africae Munus and Priestly Formation: Some Practical Questions." Lilongwe, n.p., 2012.

The Rev. Dr Richard Kuuia Baawobr, M.Afr.

(1) The Missionaries of Africa are canonically not an "order" or a "congregation" but a "society of apostolic life." They have a presence on the Web and their basic mission is described at

(2) John Paul II, Encyclical Redemptoris Missio, 1990, 41. See documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_07121990redemptoris-missio en.html. Papal and other formal Vatican statements, including the documents of Vatican II, are known by the first two words of their Latin text.

(3) See Stephen B. Bevans and Roger P. Schroeder, Constants in Context. A Theology of Mission for Today (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2004) for a presentation of the different constants in mission according to the contexts. From the four principal activities as synthesized by the SEDOS--Service of Documentation and Study on Global Mission, Rome--Conference of 1981 (1. proclamation; 2. dialogue; 3. inculturation; and 4. liberation of the poor), we got to five with the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (then called the Secretariat for Non-Christians) in 1984 (1. presence and witness; 2. commitment to social development and human liberation; 3. liturgical life, prayer, and contemplation; 4. interreligious dialogue and 5. proclamation and catechesis) which John Paul II in the encyclical Redemptoris Missio (1990) rephrased into six (1. witness; 2. proclamation; 3. inculturation; 4. interreligious dialogue; 5. working for development; and 6. doing deeds of charity). Robert J. Schreiter (1981) emphasizes "reconciliation" as an important component of mission and one that incorporates all the others.

(4) See below, n. 19.

(5) Bevans and Schroeder, Constants in Context, 351. s Bevans and Schroeder note that when they "use the terms witness and proclamation ... [they] mean very much the same as what Bosch and other Protestant thinkers mean by evangelism." Bevans and Schroeder, Constants in Context, 353.

(6) Bevans and Schroeder note that the church's nature as a catholic (small c) church points to its universal nature.

(7) Like the Lausanne Covenant of 1974, the 1989 Manila Manifesto was prepared by Evangelicals attending an international conference sponsored by the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization (LCWE). The conference held in Manila, the Philippines, was attended by over 3,000 Evangelical Protestants. The Manila Manifesto consists of two parts: a shorter part consisting of 21 affirmations and a larger document which elaborates on these affirmations; http:// See also "The Lausanne Covenant," James Scherer and Stephen B. Bevans, New Directions in Mission and Evangelization, vol. 1, Basic Statements (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1992), 253-259 and "The Manila Manifesto," in ibid., 292-305.

(8) Bevans and Schroeder, Constants in Context, 357.

(9) Ibid., 359; Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Dialogue and Proclamation: Reflections and Orientations on Interreligious Dialogue and the Proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Rome: Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, 19 May 1991), 70. Document accessible online at rc_pc_interelg_doc_19051991_dialogueand-proclamatio_en.html.

(10) John Paul II, Redemptoris Missio, 39.

(11) Bevans and Schroeder, Constants in Context, 360.

(12) Ibid., 362.

(13) Bevans and Schroeder, Constants in Context, 372.

(14) Ibid., 378.

(15) Secretariat for Non-Christians (later renamed the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue), "The Attitude of the Catholic Church Towards the Followers of Other Religious Traditions: Reflections and Orientations on Dialogue and Mission" (1984, see

(16) Second Vatican Council, Nostra Aetate (Declaration on the Relationship of the Church to Non-Christian Religions, 1965), 2; idem, Lumen Gentium (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, 1964), 16; Gaudium et Spes (Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, 1964), 22; all in Walter M Abbot, ed., The Documents of Vatican II (New York: Guild Press/America Press/Association Press, 1966).

(17) Bevans and Schroeder, Constants in Context, 387.

(18) John Paul II, Redemptoris Missio 52; idem, Post-Synodal Exhortation Ecclesia in Africa (1995, see hol_father/john_paul_ii/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_jp-ii_exh_14091995_ecclesia-in-africa-en.html), 62; Benedict XVI, "Post-Synodal Exhortation Africae Munus ... on the Church in Africa in Service to Reconciliation, Justice and Peace" (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2011 and documents/hf_ben-xvi_exh_20111119_africae-munus_en.html), 36-38.

(19) Statement at the SEDOS 1981 conference; see Bevans and Schroeder, Constants in Context, 350.

(20) See n. 18 above for full reference on Africae Munus.

(21) Bevans and Schroeder, Constants in Context, 389-394.

(22) For the major document from this Synod, see and-documents. This document is the source of the now famous saying "Action on behalf of justice and participation in the transformation of the world fully appear to us as a constitutive dimension of the preaching of the Gospel, or, in other words, of the Church's mission for the redemption of the human race and its liberation from every oppressive situation." (1971 Synod of Bishops, "Justice in the World," 6.)

(23) See Society of Missionaries of Africa, Constitutions and Laws, Rome 2006, articles 1.9.

(24) See Society of Missionaries of Africa, Capitular Acts, XXVII General Chapter, Rome 10 May-12 June 2010, 29-35.

(25) See above, n. 18.

(26) Nostra Aerate, 1.

(27) Ibid, 2.

(28) The Second Vatican Council also makes positive reference to the religious path of Muslims in Nostra Aetate, 3.

(29) Redemptoris Missio, 39.

(30) Dialogue and Proclamation, 9; Redemptoris Missio, 55.

(31) See Redemptoris Missio, 57; Dialogue and Proclamation, 77-85.

(32) Redemptoris Missio, 55.

(33) Ibid, 56.

(34) Dialogue and Proclamation, 59.

(35) Ibid., 42. See also Bevans and Schroeder, Constants in Context, 383-384; Michael L. Fitzgerald and John Borelli, Interfaith Dialogue: A Catholic View (London, SPCK, 2006), 28-35; and Stephen B. Bevans and Roger P. Schroeder, Prophetic Dialogue: Reflections on Christian Mission Today (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 68-69).

(36) Representatives of the world's great religions met in Assisi on three occasions, beginning in 1986, and prayed each in their own way in a carefully and respectfully planned event. See John Paul II, Address to the Representatives of the Christian Churches and Ecclesial Communities and of the World Religions" (1986, 1986/october/documents/hf_jp-ii_spe_19861027_prayer-peace-assisi-final_en.html.)

(37) Africae Munus, 94.

(38) 28 February 2011.

(39) "La coexistence des cultures et le dialogue interreligieux [ne sont] plus un choix mais un fait accompli qui s'impose, tant dans les societes du Moyen Orient que dans celles occidentales.... Nous sommes appeles a vivre ensemble. Nous n'avons pas le choix: ou l'on s'affronte ou l'on apprend a s'accepter, a s'aider les uns les autres ... il n'y a pas d'alternative.... Vivre ensemble ne signifie pas vouloir effacer nos differences. Les differences restent. Mais il est important d'apprendre a accepter que l'autre puisse penser autrement, que l'autre appartienne a une autre religion. Mon devoir en rant que chretien est de dire a tout le monde que l'homme est la creature de Dieu: l'homme chretien, l'homme musulman, l'homme bouddhiste mais aussi l'homme non-croyant." See Islamochristiana 37 (2011): 165. (Trans. Jane Carol Redmont.)

(40) Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, "Pastoral Attention to Traditional Religions," Letter of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue to the Presidents of Episcopal Conferences in Asia, the Americas and Oceania (1993).

(41) David Bosch, Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1991), 489.

(42) Africae Munus, 32.

(43) "Congregation" in Catholic parlance refers to a religious order, not to a local community of worship or parish. (Canonically, there is, however, a distinction between "order" and "congregation," but both refer to vowed religious communities. A "society of apostolic life" like the Missionaries of Africa is another type of vowed religious community, as noted above in n.1.)
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Author:Baawobr, Richard Kuuia
Publication:International Review of Mission
Geographic Code:60NOR
Date:Nov 1, 2012
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