Gospel being proclaimed in public squares of Guam, Saipan
BY JENNIFER LOUISE DULLA For the U Matuna Si Yu’oS
Hundreds of members of the Neocatechumenal Way gathered in front of the Ypao Beach Amphitheatre in Tumon Thursday evening, April 16, 2015 for a Sending Forth Celebration for “The Great Mission.”
It was a festive occasion and everyone braved the rain with joy. The Great Mission started Sunday, April 12, 2015 worldwide, including Guam and Saipan and will continue for the next few Sundays of Easter in public squares with midafternoon prayers, personal testimonies, dialogue and catechesis.
During the Sending Forth in Tumon, Archbishop Anthony Sablan Apuron, OFM, Cap. D.D. was the main presider for the celebration and blessed the teams of islandwide catechists leading The Great Mission in various public locations, whether it be in parks or shopping centers on Guam.
After the gospel proclamation, Archbishop Anthony, in his homily said, “What matters is the sending out by Jesus Christ of those who choose to be his followers to help in the mission. The mission is that of evangelizing, preaching, teaching and witnessing. Jesus challenges us today to continue in this mission.”
Archbishop Anthony acknowledged that many present at the celebration have participated in The Great Mission the past few years and that this year, we are called today to go out to the streets to invite those who are either marginalized, left the Church, have problems with the Church, whatever it may be, and to invite them to discover the beauty of Christianity.
“The saving message comes to and settles with Jesus Christ,” said Archbishop Anthony. “There is nothing that the world can offer us that will satisfy the deep longing of our hearts. We are troubled by many things in our lives.”
“Jesus asks us to go and preach the Gospel, to go and teach all nations, to go and be willing to die for Him,” continued the archbishop. “The way to Christ and to salvation is the way of the cross. We cannot deny the cross. We must accept it. We must embrace it. We must carry it in our lives even in a visible and physical way, even if we are persecuted, contradicted, or chastised, we must be able to touch the hearts with the saving message of God.”
Noting to the assembly that this task will not be easy, he explained, “It will be difficult because the way to the cross is not an easy way, but it is not an impossible way either because Christ gives us the strength. He gives us the courage. He gives us the animation by which we can go and speak in his name.” “All the troubles we experience in our lives, in our homes, in our Church, in the world, is worth it when we realize our lives are meant to be as pilgrim people and not live here eternally,” said Archbishop Anthony. The Great Mission started two years ago during “The Year of Faith” and took place in more than 10,000 squares around the world. Even this year, Pope Francis during his Sunday meeting in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican encouraged members of the Neo-Catechumenal Way, “Go into the public places and proclaim Jesus Christ, our Savior.” At the end of the Sending Forth Celebration, Archbishop Anthony said, “I invite you my dear brothers and sisters as we prepare for this Great Mission to not be afraid but to carry with us the cross and the strength of Jesus who will always be with us and at our side!”
The brothers and sisters of the Neocatechumenal communities will evangelize in the public squares of Guam and Saipan announcing the Kerygma (good news). Everyone is invited.
THE GREAT MISSION
Agana:Paseo De Susana (Pavilion No. 2 by the softball field), 4 p.m. and Agana Shopping Center, 5 p.m. Agat:Agat Mayor’s Office (front), 4 p.m. Dededo:Dededo Sports Complex in Harmon, 5 p.m. Merizo:Merizo Pier Park, 5 p.m. Talofofo:Ipan Beach Park – 4pm Tumon:Ypao Beach Park, 4:30 p.m. Saipan:Micro-Beach, Garapan, 1 p.m.