Whether it be in Latin America, Africa, Asia, Europe or North America, Spiritans come up against poverty and injustice. We are:
- Involved in struggles for development, the changing of unjust structures and the defence of human rights.
- Increasingly aware of the economic, social and political mechanisms oppressing people.
- Sometimes compromised by these unjust structures.
- Aware that that our missionary activity would lack meaning and would be unfaithful, even alienating, to Christ’s message if it remained apart from these struggles.
Changing Circumstances of the Contemporary World
During the General Chapter meetings of 1968-69, 1974 and 1980, the Congregation of the Holy Spirit progressively defined its role in the mission of the Church. In 1980, the Superior General reported:
“The changes that are affecting our missionary life are not passing, superficial phenomena; they reflect the changes in the world and the deepening renewal in the Church. The new age of mission is characterised…by the transfer of Christianity’s numerical centre of gravity to the southern hemisphere.
Responsibility for evangelisation is now shared with the young Churches, born of yesterday’s mission. Mission is no longer only a departure from Europe or North America for the southern hemisphere; it originates in all parts of the world, while the former “Christian” countries are themselves in need of a new evangelisation.
The new age of mission thus involves a great diversification of missionary activity; fields of evangelisation change and so do methods and partners….More than ever, evangelisation is seen as the incarnation of the Word of God; it penetrates different cultures and finds a home in the hearts of the people. It is always a source of new life which leads people towards the Father. Spiritans are committed to the renewal of evangelisation, going to meet other people and religions without seeking to dominate them”.