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Dialogue With Muslims, Defend Human Dignity, Pope Tells Missionaries

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Dialogue With Muslims, Defend Human Dignity, Pope Tells Missionaries

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Missionaries are entrusted with bringing
hope to poor Christian communities while building bridges with Muslims and
protecting human rights, Pope Francis told a group of men and women

Meeting with members of the Consolata Missionaries at the
Vatican June 5, the pope also encouraged them to push the boundaries of their
missionary activity, especially in “defending the dignity of women and family values.”

“You are called to further your charism, to project
yourselves with renewed zeal in the work of evangelization, in view of pastoral
urgencies and new forms of poverty,” he said.

Founded by Blessed Giuseppe Allamano, both the men’s and women’s congregations aim to evangelize in remote areas of the world and form Christian communities.

Consolata missionaries want to bring the world true consolation, which is found in Jesus
and his Gospel, according to the order’s website. They carry out their mission
by being with marginalized and abandoned people, comforting the suffering and
the afflicted, caring for the sick, defending human rights and promoting
justice and peace.

Pope Francis urged both congregations to carry out their work
with “careful discernment” and to bring “comfort to the
populations who are often marked by great poverty and acute suffering, as for
example in many parts of Africa and Latin America.”

“An increasing awareness” of God’s mercy, he added, can help them carry out
their mission. “It is much more important to be aware of how much
we are loved by God, than of how we love him ourselves!” he said.

A journey of the “progressive rediscovery of divine mercy,” the pope said, can
help consecrated men and women imitate Christ’s virtues in their
missionary work.

“This will enable you to be actively present in the new
arenas of evangelization, favoring — even if this may lead to sacrifices —
openness toward situations that, with their particular needs, reveal themselves to be
emblematic for our time.

Pope Francis encouraged them to continue along the path of Blessed
Allamano, who served those in need with generosity and hope.

“May your missionary consecration always be
a source for the life-giving and sanctifying encounter with Jesus and with his
love, wellspring of consolation, peace and salvation for all humanity,” he

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Follow Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju.


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