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Re-Rooting Mission in the Family

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The family, José M. de Mesa argues in this article, is the basic unit of the church, and should therefore be the basic unit of the church's mission. It is in the family where the Kingdom of God is most immediately experienced and witnessed to, and where the inclusiveness of God's saving presence can be exercised through the practice of dialogue and hospitality. Following the teaching of the Second Vatican Council, Dr. de Mesa calls for an understanding of marriage as a distinct ordo or ministry within the church, and for a renewed recognition of the family as the "domestic church," missionary by its very nature. "Parishes and dioceses," he says, "ought to rethink their pastoral vision, approaches and programs in renewing ecclesial life by first looking at the church already alive in families. The question should then be, 'How can these families be more church?' rather than 'How can we involve people (who belong to families) in the parish or the diocese?"'

Affiliations: 1: Religious Education Department of De La Salle University, Manila, Philippines


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