An international gathering of missionary congregations met Feb. 8-9 in Ireland to discuss the future of mission and the areas where missionaries can continue to make a difference in the church and wider society in the 21st century.
Organized by the Missionary Society of St. Columban as part of its centenary celebrations (1918-2018), the colloquium brought together leaders and practitioners of mission from Europe, Asia, the Americas and Africa, including seven superiors general and two vicar generals from nine international missionary societies.
The two days of discussion highlighted the need for congregations to grapple more deeply with interculturality as a counterpoint to the global trend toward stronger borders and nativism. The missionaries say religious congregations can give society a lead in embracing interculturality.
Other themes explored included mutual evangelization, the situation of women in the church and society, empowerment of the laity, and bringing about a culture of sharing between congregations.