A broad-based group of religious and lay people has joined forces to form ‘Partners in Mission’, aimed at working together to support mission in both prayerful and practical ways.
A working party of interested partners met recently at the Divine Word Missionaries offices in Sydney, to formulate a mission statement for the group and plan a way forward.
SVD Mission Secretary, Fr Truc Quoc Phan (pictured above, far right), says the group, which will operate under the SVD umbrella, believes that partnerships can help make a real difference to Mission in the region.
“We are basically asking, ‘how can we assist’?” he says. “How can we provide support?
“And we all agree that prayer is so important in this. As a group, we believe that we should pray so that God gives us the gifts we need to make a difference to Mission.”
Fr Truc says the purpose of establishing Partners in Mission was to create an empathetic environment for both lay and religious missionaries to come together to discuss their missionary experiences; and to discuss the ongoing physical and spiritual needs of fellow missionaries working around the world and how best the group could contribute to their needs.
The latest meeting of Partners in Mission, facilitated by Sr Geraldine Kearney sgs, included prayer and a reflection on ‘Mission as Prophecy’.
The group agreed on a Mission Statement which reads: “We are Faith-centred, mission-focused partners committed to offering spiritual and practical support to communities in need within the Asia Pacific Region.”
“As partners in mission we strive to make a life-giving difference through inclusive dialogue and respectful collaboration,” the accompanying Vision Statement says.
Some of the opportunities identified by Partners in Mission include setting up prayer support groups in Australia; twinning parishes or communities with those in Mission outreach areas; and building support for up-skilling and formation.
The group also hopes to form links with returned missionaries, to engage university students and other young people and to become involved with pastoral and cultural outreach.
The Partners in Mission prayer is:
Gracious God, in your infinite love, you have called us to be part of your Mission.
May we follow the example of Jesus your Son and strive always to be instruments of compassion and messengers of peace.
Send your Holy Spirit to inflame our hearts with ever growing zeal for your Mission.
We ask this in faith.