Prayerful greetings from Pontifical Mission Organizations and St. Peter’s Pontifical Institute, Bangalore! Your kind self may be aware that the Department of Missiology at St. Peter’s has been offering Licentiate Courses and Doctoral programme for the past 47 years. It has produced many illustrious missiologists all over India through its vibrant and dynamic programmes. The Pontifical Mission Organizations are indeed a blessings of the universal Church (Vatican) to our country! These organizations have been admirably coordinating, promoting and animating various mission related activities in the country. As part of their efforts to serve the Church in India on her singular task of evangelising mission, the Pontifical Mission Organizations and the department of Missiology of St. Peter’s are organizing a Symposium whereby they try to bring together all the missiologists, the professors who are handling the missiological topics and those who are closely involved in mission at the grass root level for a two day symposium titled as “Redefining the Mission: Pope Francis and the Contemporary Landscape of India” from evening of 14 November 2023 to 16 November 2023.
As all of us aware, India’s landscape of the Church’s evangelizing mission has been vastly changing. It is faced with insurmountable challenges such as crisis of democracy and democratic institutions, religious nationalism, fundamentalism and violence; widening gap between the rich and the poor causing gross inequality; caste hierarchy and new forms of social oppression; oppression of women; environmental crisis; the problem of migration and refugees; violations of human rights and human trafficking; unemployment of growing number of youth etc. Understandably, no longer can mission be conceived in the same manner as we did decades before. Already nearly sixty years before, Pope St. John XXIII wisely observed: “It is not that the Gospel has changed; it is that we have begun to understand it better.”
After Pope Francis assumed his papacy, Church’s understanding of her evangelizing mission has begun to take yet another reshape. The goal of our mission today is the Kingdom of God and the way to the Kingdom is dialogue and collaboration with other religious believers and all people of good will – a practical dialogue of the Gospel with the many poor, the rich cultures and the living religions of Asia, leading to socio-political and religious action. Pope Francis’ basic attitudes, namely, his serious rethinking the relationships of faith and the world, Gospel and culture in a different key, his bringing to the forefront the mission of historical Jesus, his ‘macro vision of synodality’ becoming fundamental principle of the Church at all levels and his deep respect for the dignity and freedom of the human person have richly contributed to his re-envisioning of the Church’s mission for today’s world. His encyclicals, and teachings do have a lot of relevance for the Indian Church for reshaping her own evangelization and igniting the mission flame in modern India. The symposium is going to be certainly highly enriching and helpful for the missiologists, and professors to update themselves.
Obviously, the central thrust of the symposium is to draw inspiration from the teachings of Pope Francis for the evangelizing mission of the Church in India today. Presumably, the target audience are those who did their licentiate studies and doctoral programme at St. Peter’s Pontifical Institute, professors who teach missiological topics such as Introduction to Missiology, Interreligious Dialogue, Inculturation, Liberation Theology, Ecumenism, and Contextual theology from all over the country. We restrict the number of participants to hundred. We firmly believe that the conference will be a golden opportunity for the Church in India to celebrate the jubilee year (2025) in a meaningful way. Conference will be organized in the format of paper presentations and panels.
May we request you to kindly send the professor who is handling missiological topics such as mentioned in the preceding paragraph for the Symposium so that he may be an invaluable asset to your seminary or the institute and provide sterling pastoral and mission leadership attuned to the needs of the times. Keeping in mind our principal concern of offering formation in the Missiological discipline, we have decided that there will be no registration fee collected for the symposium. Board and Lodging will be completely free for the participants.
Registration Link: https://forms.gle/N9d8EL6ktVFn6HKk6