By Marie-Paule Sanfaçon
The theme of this issue, MEMORY LINKS, led me to reflect upon the proper vocation of each human being. True, memory is important because it helps us remember persons we once knew, or events that took place; it helps us to study, to foresee, to consider. But could we say that the memory is the faculty which best characterizes the human person?
Today, computer memory can store information that can outperform the human memory. The artificial memory can execute specific tasks by figuring out for itself what information to hold in its memory. So then, what is proper to the human person?
That is the big question… Our Lord, during the Last Supper, said to his disciples: Do this in memory of me. What did he mean? To remember or to repeat the act? It was more than that. Sharing the Eucharistic meal is to be in the presence of Jesus, to share in the life of Christ and his message which is to love one another as he loved us. Love is the human person’s specificity.
The moment loved ones are no longer with us, memory takes over. We remember the kind of persons they were. Every year, certain cultures hold great festivities in memory of those who died; countries like Mexico, China, Madagascar, emphasize the importance of remembering. In different ways commemorating loved ones is somehow highlighted.
It is equally important to underscore anniversaries. Organizations such as the Christian Formation Center called Agapè has been preparing young people for the missions over a period of thirty years. On the other hand, l’Entraide Missionnaire must
close its doors after sixty years of existence; this organization has left its mark in the hearts of many who received help from their various programs. We wholeheartedly thank all those who devote themselves within the Church, sowing seeds of love in the hearts of others. Those who work quietly in the background also deserve our gratitude. The focus of this issue tells us about the many blessings we receive from people who radiate lavishly God’s love among us.
In October 2017, Pope Francis declared that an extraordinary missionary month would take place in 2019. He also wished that October 2018 would be a month to prepare for the following year’s event. Below is an extract of Pope Francis’ letter dated October 22, 2017.
On November 30, 2019, we will celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the promulgation of the Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud… In the light of this, accepting the proposal of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, I hereby call for an Extraordinary Missionary Month to be celebrated in October 2019, with the aim of fostering an increased awareness of the missio ad gentes and taking up again with renewed fervour the missionary transformation of the Church’s life and pastoral activity. The Missionary Month of October 2018 can serve as a good preparation for this celebration by enabling all the faithful to take to heart the proclamation of the Gospel and to help their communities grow in missionary and evangelizing zeal. May the love for the Church’s mission, which is a passion for Jesus and a passion for his people, grow ever stronger!