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Lee wrote:

Hi, guys —

I'm writing an essay on the declining number of priests in the Catholic Church and I'm having a hard time trying to find the official mission statement of the Church.

  • Would you please help me get hold of this?

Thanks for your time.

Lee

  { What is the official mission statement of the Catholic Church? }

Mike replied:

Hi, Lee —

The following was taken from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

849 This missionary mandate. "Having been divinely sent to the nations that she might be 'the universal sacrament of salvation,' the Church in obedience to the command of her Founder and because it is demanded by her own essential universality, strives to preach the Gospel to all men.

    "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and Lo, I am with you always, until the close of the age." (Matthew 28:19-20)

850 The origin and purpose of the mission. The Lord's missionary mandate is ultimately grounded in the eternal love of the Most Holy Trinity: "The Church on earth is by her nature missionary since, according to the plan of the Father, she has her origin the mission of the Son and the Holy Spirit." The ultimate purpose of mission is none other than to make men share in the communion between the Father and the Son in their Spirit of love.

851 Missionary motivation. It is from God's love for all men that the Church in every age receives both the obligation and the vigor of her missionary dynamism, "for the love of Christ urges us on." (2 Corinthians 5:14) Indeed, God, "desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of truth," (1 Timothy 2:4) that is, God wills the salvation of everyone through the knowledge of the truth. Salvation is founded in the Truth. Those who obey the prompting of the Spirit of truth are already on the way of salvation. But the Church, to whom this truth has been entrusted, must go out to meet their desire, so as to bring them the truth. Because she believes in God's universal plan of salvation, the Church must be missionary.

852 Missionary paths. The Holy Spirit is the protagonist, "the principal agent of the whole of the Church's mission." It is he who leads the Church on her missionary paths. "The mission continues and, in the course of history, unfolds the mission of Christ, who was sent to evangelize the poor; so the Church, urged on by the Spirit of Christ, must walk the road Christ himself walked, a way of poverty and obedience, of service and self-sacrifice even to death, a death from which he emerged victorious by his resurrection." So it is that "the blood of martyrs is the seed of Christians."

If you need more, just tell me,

Mike Humphrey

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