The Marian Center of Indianapolis was founded in the 1990’s in response to a call from Pope John Paul II to evangelize (see below parts of the encyclical Redemptoris Missio). The Center began early to send out newsletters pointing to the beauty of the Catholic Faith, these periodicals were titled “Faith of our Fathers” and they were sent for some years.
After a time, a mission became clear to us that we would begin to host Catholic teachers and speakers to offer evangelization in a new form. We started with offering small day retreats, which led us to the Indiana Catholic Women’s Conference and as well following a year behind, the Indiana Catholic Men’s Conference. We have also organized pilgrimages to sights in the United States and Canada.
Below you find some of the mission calls from Pope John Paul II and we ask you to use the link to the Encyclical and read it because it is filled with wisdom and it may just call you to find a way to spread the Good News to which we are all called. Jesus Himself said in Luke 11: verse 23; “He who does not gather with Me, scatters”.
The mission of Christ the Redeemer, which is entrusted to the Church, is still very far from completion. As the second millennium after Christ’s coming draws to an end, an overall view of the human race shows that this mission is still only beginning and that we must commit ourselves wholeheartedly to its service. It is the Spirit who impels us to proclaim the great works of God: “For if I preach the Gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel!” (1 Cor 9: 16)
Peoples everywhere, open the doors to Christ! His Gospel in no way detracts from man’s freedom, from the respect that is owed to every culture and to whatever is good in each religion. By accepting Christ, you open yourselves to the definitive Word of God, to the One in whom God has made himself fully known and has shown us the path to himself. The number of those who do not know Christ and do not belong to the Church is constantly on the increase. Indeed, since the end of the Council it has almost doubled. When we consider this immense portion of humanity which is loved by the Father and for whom he sent his Son, the urgency of the Church’s mission is obvious.
God is opening before the Church the horizons of a humanity more fully prepared for the sowing of the Gospel. I sense that the moment has come to commit all of the Church’s energies to a new evangelization. No believer in Christ, no institution of the Church cannot avoid this supreme duty: to proclaim Christ to all peoples. JESUS CHRIST, THE ONLY SAVIOR In my first encyclical, in which I set forth the program of my Pontificate, I said that “the Church’s fundamental function in every age, and particularly in ours, is to direct man’s gaze, to point the awareness and experience of the whole of humanity toward the mystery of Christ.”
The first beneficiary of salvation is the Church. Christ won the Church for himself at the price of his own blood and made the Church his co-worker in the salvation of the world. Indeed, Christ dwells within the Church. She is his Bride. It is he who causes her to grow. He carries out his mission through her. The Spirit manifests himself in a special way in the Church and in her members. Nevertheless, his presence and activity are universal, limited neither by space nor time. The Second Vatican Council recalls that the Spirit is at work in the heart of every person, through the “seeds of the Word,” to be found in human initiatives-including religious -and in mankind’s efforts to attain truth, goodness, and God himself.
The following words of the Council are a point of reference: “Although the task of spreading the faith, to the best of one’s ability, falls to each disciple, Christ stirs up a missionary vocation in the hearts of individuals, and at the same time raises up in the Church those institutes which undertake the duty of evangelization, which is the responsibility of the whole Church, as their special task.”
On the eve of the third millennium the whole Church is invited to live more intensely the mystery of Christ by gratefully cooperating in the work of salvation. The Church does this together with Mary and following the example of Mary, the Church’s Mother and model: Mary is the model of that maternal love which should inspire all who cooperate in the Church’s apostolic mission for the rebirth of humanity.
To “Mary’s mediation, wholly oriented toward Christ and tending to the revelation of his salvific power,” 178 I entrust the Church and, in particular, those who commit themselves to carrying out the missionary mandate in today’s world. As Christ sent forth his apostles in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, so too, renewing that same mandate, I extend to all of you my apostolic blessing, in the name of the same Most Holy Trinity. Amen.
Given in Rome, at St. Peter’s, on December 7, the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Conciliar Decree Ad Gentes, in the year 1990, the thirteenth of my Pontificate.
JOHN PAUL II
LINK Redemptoris Missio (7 December 1990) | John Paul II (vatican.va)