Pius xll did: "Growth in
holiness among Christians will bein proportion to their active interest in the missions". For sonic young people this interest leads them to a desire to consecrate their lives to God in missionary work.
Many congregations and religious orders have men and women working as missionaries abroad. There are some who concentrate almost exclusively on this work. Their work may he mainly teaching or nursing or ordinary parish work. Some orders do all three.
One of the signs of the time is the professional way in which missionary work is being undertaken these days. Apart from a new appreciation of the missionary nature of the Church there is a new undestanding of her true Catholicity. Native cultures and customs are being studied and appreciated. No longer is it possible, nor desirable, to im pose a European Catholicism which may be quite alien to another culture.
The Church has to transcend oarticular cultures in order to be at the service of them all. Missionaries today need to he familiar with the history and psychology of the peoples they are to serve.
The Gospel is for all men and must be interpreted and presented in the light of local needs and traditions. There is an authentic African Christianity as well as an authentic European or South American Christianity. It has taken a long while for this fact to come back into the thought of the Church.
Temperament, language and history determine how a people comes to the Gospel and how it ought to be presented to them. All of these factors, and many others, must be understood if the Gospel is to be effectively preached.