As delegations from around the country are about to come together in Orlando for the Convocation of Catholic Leaders, the Bishops of the United States invite all the baptized to examine the challenges that exist and realistically and joyfully move forth as missionary disciples of Jesus Christ. The Bishops remind us in Living as Missionary Disciples: A Resource for Evangelization that "we become missionary disciples when we take our encounter with Jesus Christ out into the world" (LMD, 17).
The way that we go forth will differ, but each of the baptized is sent from the community of faith to accompany our brothers and sisters, especially those who are on the "peripheries." Pope Francis reminds us that "each Christian and every community must discern the path that the Lord points out, but all of us are asked to obey his call to go forth from our own comfort zone in order to reach all the 'peripheries' in need of the light of the Gospel" (EG, 20).
This discernment is exactly what the Bishops of the United States are asking all the baptized to do and is one of the main reasons for the Convocation of Catholic Leaders. "Living as Missionary Disciples: A Resource for Evangelization serves as a road map for leaders and provides principles of evangelization and missionary discipleship, with resources designed for pastoral leaders to develop, enhance, and review their own local strategies to create an evangelizing parish" (LMD, 3).
Please pray for all those who participate in the Convocation of Catholic Leaders and may we all recognize and live our call to be missionary disciples of Jesus Christ.
May the charity of Christ urge us on!
Fr. Frank Donio, S.A.C. is the Director of the Catholic Apostolate Center.