Public Lecture on the Missionary and Prophetic Natures: Local Parish Application

We were very fortunate on Thursday 21 April 2016, to receive an alumnus at Saint John Vianney Seminary for our First Semester Public Lecture. Rev Fr. Dr. Dikosti William Mofokeng, of the Diocese of Bethlehem, has become a model and erudite scholar on pastoral matters, particularity in the fields of Missiology and Evangelisation. Our honoured guest came to deliver a paper on the topic: Towards a Missionary and Prophetic Local Community/Parish, with Reference to the Teachings of the Vatican II Council and Recent Papal Pronouncements.

Present at the thought provoking presentation were the formation staff (some of whom were past contemporary students with the alumnus), visitors and the seminary student body. The talk was divided into four sections, covering the missionary activity of all the baptised, Vatican II teachings on missionary activity, Pope Francis’ stances on mission work and suggestions for small communities and parishes on how to grow their missionary and prophetic capabilities.

The paper was well founded on magisterial teachings, through the use of relevant quotations from numerous Church documents such as the Second Vatican Council’s decree Ad gentes and our current Pontiff’s exhortation Evangelii gaudium. Further references utilised included the famous work: ‘Transforming Missions’ of the late South African theologian Dr. David Bosch. Hence we were ably led through how missio Dei links to missio Christi resulting in a worldwide missione Ekklesia. Penetrating dilemmas included how to stem the flow of Catholics who leave the Church, unaware of what they are losing, and how to correct errors of the past during the announcement of the gospel in our own country. The experienced speaker had especially applied his mind to South African context and a personal list of recommendations for use in small local communities – incorporating a greater use of family structures and a development of more informed-aware preachers.

The lecturer answered a varied string of questions, raging on topics from the need for better catechetical training and a South African missionary spirit to the latest antics of politicians. Many left inspired to make a positive difference for evangelization in the Church.

By Rui Antonio Henriques

DSC_0267