Missio Ad Gentes: 'An Event of the New Evangelization'
The missio ad gentes are called by Bishops to make an implantatio ecclesiae in areas where the Church does not exist or where it cannot reach people. The Bishop gives a missio to a priest, he entrusts to him an area that is generally secularized and gives him the faculty to baptize, marry, give the Sacraments, celebrate the Eucharist, etc. The Bishop has a contract with the responsibles of the Neo-Catechumenal Way, which guarantees the presence of these families and to care for them, so that they are not a weight for the diocese.
There is a Christian community behind each one of these families: the community of their parishes of origin, which helps them, pays for their trips, stays in contact with them, so that the community is involved in the evangelization. If a family does not find work, the community helps them until they do. To begin the Mission, these families look for a building where they can meet and form the community; they look for work, a place to live and their children begin to study in the local school. As time passes, the children invite their schoolmates and friends to their homes, and the latter marvel at seeing a Christian family: the majority of these children’s parents are separated, so they are surprised to see a numerous family, with the father and mother together. The parents make contact with their neighbors and acquaintances. Every week the families go out into the streets to sing with guitars and they carry out a mission in a public place where they meet other people. After some time, they invite people they know to listen to some catecheses: many are people who have left the Church; others are not baptized and they begin the Neocatechumenal Way as an itinerary of preparation for Baptism. All the missio ad gentes have already formed one or more communities of pagans.
Kiko Argüello, initiator of the Neocatechumenal Way, explained the role of the missio ad gentes.