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Excerpt from the AEC PMS Mission Congress booklet

October is the Extraordinary Month of Mission instituted by Pope Francis

Missionary outreach to our young people: awareness of the digital milieu

The Bishops call us to become more aware that in our changing societies, we will need new ways of being Church, ways that will inspire our modern Caribbean people, especially our young people, to be part of the Church.

We need new ways of organizing our Church life that speak to them and call them to faith and commitment to Christ. In this we must first try to understand the digital technology and the social media, and then learn ever more to use them in order to reach those who do not yet know Christ and the many who know Christ only in a formal way but not intimately.

Our world has changed so dramatically over the past 25 years! The enormous changes in technology have brought a whole other way in which societies are relating and engaging with each other. Our young people think differently from adults, because the rapid changes in technology have also changed our young people. Their mode of interacting with each other, with society and with reality is different as a result of the impact of technology in their lives.

As we continuously hear Christ speak to us: “Go out to the whole world and proclaim the Good News”, we must realize that our biggest challenge for evangelization today is to bring the Good News, and to bring Christ, to young people. This means that we must urgently learn a different way of listening to our young people.

Our challenge is to bring the wealth of the Gospel to a generation that experiences meaning in a totally different environment. We must want to reach our young people where they are at, learn to speak their language, keeping it simple, understand how their world and their way of learning feels, and so to find ways of communicating with them that is part of their world.

Today, more than ever, the Church needs to re-imagine: how can we communicate faith, how can we speak to the hearts and minds, to the passions and beliefs of our people, especially our young people?

Seeking ways to strengthen the missionary zeal of our Catholic community

All of this starts with awakening within our Catholics an active missionary zeal. Many do not have this missionary zeal and do not as yet feel any drive to share their Catholic faith with others around them or to witness to Christ to young people. For many Catholics that is something that is the task of bishops, priests, deacons and religious.

Having their children baptized and seeing to it that they do their First Communion and Confirmation, seems more than enough for many Catholics. However, the “missio ad gentes” is part of our Christian vocation at Baptism, when Christ looked at us and made us His own for the rest of our lives, to love us, to speak to us in His Word, to strengthen us spiritually through the divine grace He gives us in the sacraments, but He also sent us at Baptism to live in such a way that the values of His Gospel can change the world and turn it into a world of solidarity, goodness and hope.

The challenge of our personal authenticity

Our Caribbean Bishops remind us finally of the necessity of what we call in our Christian tradition “conversion”. That is becoming aware that we fall short of what God asks of us in many areas in our lives, in many parts of our mentality, our way of looking at other people, our way of doing business or trade, what we do or neglect to do in our relations with our spouse, or our children or our parents, or those around us. If our efforts to evangelize and to witness to Christ are to be fruitful, we must grow in personal authenticity. That is what Jesus’ call to conversion is all about.

The Bishops state:

“Those who navigate the digital milieu, value authenticity highly. Traditional understanding of authority is called into question. This generation wants to keep it real. They want the real deal. They want our words and teaching to match up with our witness and lifestyles. As Pope Paul VI has said: “Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses” (“Evangelii Nuntiandi” #41, 1975).

(“Being Church in a Digital Milieu”, 27)

Therefore if we want to be fruitful in reaching the hearts of our young people, of adults who have drifted away from a meaningful relation with Christ and the Church, or if we hope to inspire those who do not know Christ at all to grow to believe in Him, three steps will be essential for all of us:

“the three steps of which any pastoral and evangelizing pastoral communications plan has to be made, are: (1) prayer, (2) being filled with the Holy Spirit, and (3) speaking the Word of God boldly. Pastoral and evangelizing communication starts with prayer because it is God’s communication. It further must be filled with his Spirit, which brings us the courage to proclaim like the timid apostles on Pentecost, whom the Spirit changed into courageous presenters of his word”.

(“Being Church in a Digital Milieu”, 30)

A call to action

So let us respond generously to the call that resounds from the theme: Baptized and sent: the Church of Christ on mission in the world.

Let us preserve that sense of gratitude for all that knowing what Christ has brought to our lives, that sense of gratitude for the many ways in which prayer and the grace of the sacraments have enriched our lives. Let us think creatively of ways in which we can give back!

Let us live our Baptism, becoming more and more a strong Catholic community that is active and compassionate, a community of men and women in solidarity with the less fortunate in so many beautiful ways, a community that lives the love that Christ speaks of.

Let us embrace our young people and listen to them, converse meaningfully with them, open to learning what has to be learned if we are to share with them that same relationship with Christ that is the foundation of our lives. God calls us all to action, each in his or her own way. Let us respond generously!

Logo of the Extraordinary Missionary Month

The logo of the Extraordinary Missionary Month October 2019 is a missionary cross where the primary colours refer to the five continents.

The Cross is the instrument and direct sign of communion between God and man for the universality of our mission, and through its vibrant colours, a sign of victory and resurrection.

The world is transparent because the action of evangelization has no barriers or boundaries; it is the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Christian charity and the world transfigured in the Spirit overcome distances and open the horizon of our minds and hearts. The words ‘Baptized and Sent’ next to the image indicate the two characteristics of every Christian: baptism and proclamation.

The primary colours of the Cross are referred to the five continents: red for America, green for Africa, white for Europe, yellow for Asia and blue for Oceania.

Red recalls the blood of the American martyrs, seeds for a new life in the Christian faith. Green is the colour of life and symbolizes growth, fruitfulness, youth and vitality. It is also the colour of hope, one of the three theological virtues.

White is the symbol of joy, the beginning of a new life in Christ: this is the challenge that the old Europe is facing, so that it may be able to regain the evangelizing strength from which it was generated thanks to so many churches and saints.

Yellow is the colour of light, which nourishes itself with light by invoking the true Light. Blue is the colour symbolizing the water of life that quenches our thirst and restores us along the path to God. It is the colour of Heaven, a sign of God’s dwelling with us.


Queen’s Park Savannah

Port of Spain

7.30 a.m.          Rosary (Northern Vicariate)

8 a.m.              Morning Prayer followed by Praise & Worship led by the AEC Mission Congress Choir

9 a.m.              Official Opening (Parade of Flags) and Addresses

10 a.m.            Fr Don Chambers speaks on Baptized: Go, baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit (Mt 28:19)

11 a.m.            Testimonies /Mission

11.30 a.m.       Bishop Gabriel Malzaire speaks on Sent on Mission: As the Father sent Me I am sending you. (Jn 20:21)

1.15 p.m.         Praise & Worship led by the AEC Mission Congress Choir

1.30 p.m.         Service of Reparation led by Archbishop Kenneth Richards

1.45 p.m.         Cultural presentations

2.45 p.m.         Preparations for Holy Mass

3.15 p.m.         Holy Mass with chief celebrant, Archbishop Jason Gordon

5 p.m.              Charge by Bishop Gabriel Malzaire; Vote of thanks by Fr Esteban Kross



– Students Rally

Thursday, September 19

Who is invited?

All Catholic primary, secondary and tertiary students in Trinidad

Theme: Baptized and Sent

Venue and time

Centre of Excellence, Macoya Road, Tunapuna, from 7.30 a.m.

What should we bring along?

Water, snacks and your rosary (medication as necessary)


  • Archbishop Charles Jason Gordon of Port of Spain
  • Bishop Gabriel Malzaire of Roseau, Dominica
  • Bishop Robert Llanos of St John’s-Basseterre
  • AEC General Secretary Fr Don Chambers
  • Regional PMS Director, Fr Esteban Kross
  • Fr Tadeusz Nowak OMI, Secretary General of the Pontifical Mission Society for the Propagation of the Faith, Vatican


  • Welcome by Archbishop Gordon
  • Presentations by Bishop Emmanuel Lafont of Cayenne, and Bishop Llanos.
  • Cultural presentations including song, dance, pageantry, drama, Spoken Word
  • Missionary Rosary
  • Holy Mass


– Students Rally

Tuesday September 17

Who is invited?

All Catholic school students in the sister isle, Tobago

What is it about? The Church is gathering to discuss MISSION.  We will reflect on our Baptism and the call of God on our lives.

Venue and time

St Joseph’s RC Church, Scarborough, Tobago, from 8 a.m. to 3.30 p.m.

What should we bring along?

Water, snacks and your rosary (medication as necessary)


  • Archbishop Charles Jason Gordon of Port of Spain
  • Bishop Gabriel Malzaire of Roseau, Dominica
  • Vicar for Clergy, Msgr Esau Joseph
  • Moderator, Fr Leslie Tang Kai
  • AEC General Secretary, Fr Don Chambers
  • Regional PMS Director, Fr Esteban Kross


  • Archbishop Gordon – Understanding your Baptism
  • Bishop Robert Llanos of St John’s-Basseterre – We are sent on Mission!
  • Cultural presentations including steelpan, Spoken Word, drumology, poetry and Speech Band.