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New Frontiers

Missionaries have always gone with Christ to new frontiers, while the Holy Spirit pushed and proceeded them” the Synod Report reminds us. That was true of our first sisters in the 17th century spreading all over France and later of those who undertook, in the 19th century, the long perilous sea journey to Malaya or sailed into the then unknown territory of the culture of Japan.

In today’s digital culture, “online apostolic initiatives have a reach and scope that extends beyond traditionally understood territorial boundaries”. “It is up to us now to reach today’s culture in all the spaces where people seek meaning and love, including the spaces they enter through their cell phones and tablets”. (17: c, h) We have always wanted to give particular attention to children and young people and these are now the ones who are the most vulnerable to new forms of “harm and injury, through intimidation, disinformation, sexual exploitation and addiction”. (17:f) “While young people do seek beauty, many young people have abandoned the physical spaces of the Church into which we continue to invite them, favouring instead online spaces. This has implications for how we try to engage them and seek to offer them formation and catechesis” (17:k).

Our Book of the Institute invites us to be courageous: “We will always be challenged by the prophetic dimension of the consecrated life” (BI 9) “With creativity and daring, we seek to adapt our means of evangelisation to the realities of life where the Mystery of the Incarnation continues to take place” (BI 8) “The various means we use in our apostolic services should be evaluated regularly … so that they can be better adapted to each particular situation. No means is ever definitive or universal” (BI 207). Nicolas Barre wanted us to be holy and knowledgeable, competent and well trained in our area of mission. In our 21st century, “we need to provide opportunities for recognising, forming and accompanying those… working as digital missionaries” (17 l)


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