Mission and Poverty

Mission and Poverty

Somewhat by chance Fr Neuhauser mhm came across one of the so-called position papers published by the General Council in the second half of the 1990’s.

He was so impressed by the content of this paper entitled ‘Mission and Poverty’ that he decided to update it and generally tidy it up for posting on our Mill Hill website.

In the accompanying email he writes:
Personally I feel that our formators should be particularly interested in the document. For this reason I wanted to bring it out before our Global Formators’ Meeting starting in Pune after Christmas.

Here is the  preface to this updated edition:

At the end of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, on the solemnity of Christ the King, Pope Francis introduced a “World Day of the Poor”, to be celebrated every year on the Sunday preceding the Solemnity of Christ the King (see in the internet “Apostolic Letter Misericordia et Miseria”). For its first celebration on 19 November 2017, he published a powerful message quoting 1 Jn 3:18 “Let us not love in word and speech but in deed and in truth” (internet: Pope Francis, world day of the poor). Our Pope’s initiative may help us to reflect on what according to our Mill Hill charism we are doing for the poor and to what extent we are identifying with them.

In this context it is interesting to note how twenty years ago, in 1997, our General Council of that time published a position paper on “Mission and Poverty” in preparation for the “Jubilee of Jubilees” proclaimed by Pope John Paul II for the year 2000. In the light of our present Pope’s appeal, this position paper has lost nothing of its actuality; with its solid motivation and practical applications it can rather help us to read the signs of our times and to respond to them. Unfortunately, our document may no longer be easily available. For these reasons it was felt that a reprint may serve a good purpose. The section on Mill Hill documents on our website seems a good place for making it more accessible to our members.

To make it more readable and to use it as a study edition in Formation Houses and at Mill Hill meetings, it has been slightly edited as follows:

Where the wording of titles in the table of content and in the text did not correspond they were brought in line. In this way the sections are more clearly marked with their titles and subtitles.

The authors of our document made many valuable references to our Constitutions; these were to the edition of 1985/1992 (red book). Since this edition will not be easily available, the relevant references are now given in full, adding – where possible – cross references to the Constitutions’ later editions (the blue book of 2006 and the green book of 2016).

Among the “Inspirational Text” given in the Appendix, extracts from Pope Francis’ message for the first World Day for the Poor on 19 November 2017 have been added [8.B) iii]

The substance of the original document remains untouched.

May this reprint of “MISSION AND POVERTY” help us to respond to our Pope’s appeal in the light of our own Society tradition.




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