On August 15th, the feast of the Assumption of Our Lady, the Dutch Region of the Mill Hill Missionaries traditionally celebrates its jubilarians. This year’s crop of jubilarians reached a record high! Two Mill Hill Sisters (FMSJ) and two Cistercian Nuns resident at Missiehuis Vrijland joined the 15 Mill Hill missionaries who were celebrating their 65/60/50/40 years of missionary service.
Only one jubilarian failed to make it to this memorable festive occasion: Fr James Borst mhm (60) could not leave his beloved Kashmir for fear of being barred from returning.
General Superior, Fr Michael Corcoran mhm, was the main celebrant at the festive Eucharist. A few extracts from his homily:
“Congratulations to our Jubilarians – my brother/sister missionaries for these long years of service. You truly have lived up to the motto of our Society in the love and service shown by you over the past years. Know that you have our love and respect, not just for what you have achieved and done but who you are. On this special day may the God of our Lord Jesus Christ bless you with joy, a joy that will last”.
“The Church’s mission is enlivened by a spirituality of constant exodus. We are challenged “to go forth from our comfort zone in order to reach all the peripheries in need of the light of the Gospel” (EG 20).
The Church’s mission impels us to undertake a constant pilgrimage across the various deserts of life, through the different experiences of hunger and thirst for truth and justice. The Church’s mission inspires a sense of constant exile.
If we are going to make disciples in our places of mission we need to become signs of contradiction. In today’s world, that means that we are called to embrace friendship, beauty, goodness, truth, weakness, suffering, joy and hope. Becoming a sign of contradiction is not the same as being rebellious. Evangelisation is not at war with the world. Nor does becoming a sign of contradiction mean withdrawing from the world. The world is already mired in conflict, and fractured and atomized.
Becoming a sign of contradiction means witnessing to something more delightful, more profound, and more meaningful than what the world offers.
Evangelization is an invitation, expressed in love. To encounter, to love, and serve the living God and God’s people. Mission is God going out as we must”.