Mission Appeal: Criterion For Selection Of Volunteers For Mission ‘Ad Gentes’

The realities of missionary life are a challenge and almost always different from the challenges that we have to confront in our province of origin. Therefore, some criteria are needed in order to select the confreres who will minister in those places. Using the following criteria the volunteer will be interviewed by some member of the General Council or his representative.

1. Missionaries ought to have emotional stability. Missionary work is difficult! The interpersonal relationships with one’s companions in ministry, the cultural tensions and a certain anxiety with regard to ministry, all of these increase tension. Only those persons who are emotionally stable should make a long-term commitment for missions in a different cultural context.

In order to be effective, those confreres who minister in a culture that is distinct from their own must to learn another language, attain knowledge with regard to the new culture(s) so that the message of God can be proclaimed in that different and changing world context.

2. Missionaries ought to have spiritual maturity. In order to preach the gospel in an effect manner, initiative and ability are not enough. Saint Paul tells us that we are earthen vessels and we ought to reveal the surpassing power in our ministry that proceeds from God and not from us (2 Corinthians 4:7). The missions are a supernatural work that are engaged in through the power of God. Therefore, missionaries ought to be people who kneel before the Father (Ephesians 4:2) in prayer. They ought to be people who live the word, not only in order to prepare their homilies and lessons but also in order to reflect upon the will of God for their own life.

3. Mindful of the local reality, Missionaries ought to possess those qualities and be formed in a manner that enables them to build up the Church, to form new mature Christians, and to form Church and national leaders for Christian service. Those are the essential tasks of the mission. Missionaries must avoid the temptation of transferring the culture of their Church of origin to the Church of their new mission. Rather they should minister in a manner that enables the gospel values to become rooted in the culture of the place where they are ministering. 

4. The Missionaries ought to be properly motivated. Missionaries ought to develop a clear and direct motivation for evangelization, for the mission and for service on behalf of those who are poor. They should always be mindful of the fact that their ministry is exercised for the greater glory of God. Doubtful motives such as personal gain or vainglory always lead to failure in achieving the objective of the mission.