"We wanted,” said Cardinal Filoni,” to respond to the invitation of John Paul II who, at the beginning of the new millennium, said that Asia was going to be the vast continent to be evangelised.” “Macau,” he added, “has historically represented the ‘door’ or bridge for the mission of the Church in the East.”
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – The Redemptoris Mater College for Asia in Macau (China) will begin its mission in September, at the initiative of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples following a decree signed by Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of Propaganda Fide, on 29 June 2019, after an audience with Pope Francis. It will be run by the Neocatechumenal Way.
In reporting the announcement, the Fides news agency points out that the first group of students are expected from various countries. "We wanted,” said Cardinal Filoni,” to respond to the invitation of John Paul II who, at the beginning of the new millennium, said that Asia was going to be the vast continent to be evangelised.”
“It is a very complex continent,” he added, “the cradle of great religions and very clear cultural sensitivities. The proclamation of the Gospel in Asia calls for its own traits, such as a thorough knowledge of different contexts and languages. Awareness of this complexity does not however, exempt Christians from making the Good News alive and present. The Gospel is for everyone: As Christ gave it to us, so we announce it today."
"Macau,” the cardinal went on to say, “has historically represented the ‘door’ or bridge for the mission of the Church in the East. In past centuries, it has been a place of cultural and religious attraction, as a territory governed by the Portuguese crown.
“Its importance is well known as a centre promoting evangelisation in the Far East. Extraordinary missionaries like Matteo Ricci, Alessandro Valignano, Francis Xavier and many other evangelisers have passed through this ‘door’ for the mission in Asia."
As its Statute indicates, the College is directly dependent on the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples. Hence, it will maintain contact with the local bishop and may have branches in other places or countries.
It is in fact a "major Seminary of the Church, an educational community that enjoys a canonical legal personality”. However, “it will have to obtain legal personality according to the laws of the country" in which it is established.
The College is designed to prepare future priests for evangelisation in Asia, accompanying and educating them "in the life of prayer and the theological and cardinal virtues, with a serious commitment to philosophical and theological studies and to an action of itinerant evangelisation."
The priests trained at the institute "may be sent, in the opinion of the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, to requesting dioceses," in different Asian territories and nations, according to the pastoral needs of those who request them.