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Consecrated life and today’s challenges

HONG KONG (Mabuhay) : The chaplaincy for Filipinos organised a session for the Filipino community on consecrated life and mission on October 1 at the Sing Yin Secondary School, New Clear Water Bay Road.

An introduction was given by Canossian Sister Vicky Ramos on what consecrated life and mission are.

She then asked those at the session to share their ideas about how they view consecrated life and their expectations of priests and religious, as well as lay people who have entered into the consecrated life.

Father Edgar Javier, a member of the Divine Word Mission Society who formerly worked in Oceania, cited the biblical story of the Tower of Babel, which illustrates how disagreements among people, pride and jealously led to the first biblical reference to wide scale migration and some of its consequences.

He explained that migration, together with other trends in the world, have a lot to do with the mission of this current generation.

He pointed out that mega-migration in and out of various countries has resulted in people living within a multiplicity of cultures. “When we are outside of our country we become aware of our identity,” he said, adding that he believes that Filipinos working abroad can more easily be conscious of their Filipino identity.

Father Javier pointed to a second trend, which he called media addiction, and although he agreed that the media do indeed provided a lot of information and electronic gadgets are convenient for communication within families and communities, he said they should not control our lives.

He pointed out that previously humans were called homo-sapiens, but now they can become techno-sapiens—identifying themselves with gadgets.

Father Javier noted that a third trend is urbanisation, which has drawn millions of people into big cities, creating two big social concerns, as urbanisation puts people under huge pressure and also produces large numbers of urban poor.

He went on to say that the mission of the Church is being challenged by secularisation, as people tend to make a way of life without God. He noted that many people have removed God from the throne of their hearts and put science and other ideas in his place.

He stressed that the baptised are called to live a consecrated life among the above challenges, saying that lay people are the foundation of the Church and are called to be a dominant part of the mission of the God.

He concluded his talk with his personal motto: Life is mission and mission is my life.


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