Together to proclaim the Gospel to the ends of the earth
The Missionary Community of Villaregia is a community which, being born of the Church, places itself at the full and exclusive service of the mission ad gentes. This calling has shaped the Community since its foundation: to be a community for the mission, to do mission by being a community.
Every talent, activity, material and spiritual good, and structure finds its fulfillment in the universal mission, in adherence to the mandate of Jesus: “So wherever you go, make disciples of all nations: Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt 28:19) and “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature” (Mk 16:15).
The life of the Community, interwoven with fraternal relationships, mutual acceptance and forgiveness, is intended to be an ordinary witness and the first proclamation of the Most Holy Trinity. In our world, where an exclusionary individualism prevails, the Community’s presence becomes a concrete sign of how all humanity is called to live: a family where every person can feel at home.
Announcing the Gospel
Obedient to the command of Christ and supported by His presence, the Community members are willingly and eagerly sent in mission, far from their own culture and home parish. They choose as privileged places for their service the peoples and circumstances where the Gospel is not yet known, or where there is a lack of mature Christian communities fostering missionary zeal.
To the ends of the earth
Following the example of Jesus, the Community gives particular attention to the portion of humanity which populates the geographical and existential peripheries of the world, preferring the poorest and weakest, the marginalized, and victims of injustice and oppression.
The members of Villaregia are committed to proclaim the Kingdom wherever it is not yet known, to denounce obstacles and oppositions to its spreading, to help people recognize it is already present in daily signs, and to collaborate for its fulfillment here on earth. To do this, the Community:
- Leads new parishes in the countries of first proclamation and where the Church is still young;
- Facilitates community and missionary animation, in agreement with diocesan missionary centers;
- Promotes human rights through integral development programs and projects;
- Initiates human and spiritual formation for youth, adults and families;
- Promotes local and international volunteering.
With the people of God
Usually, when the Community arrives in a country where the Gospel is still little known, what they find both in terms of structures and activities is the result of the work of lay people who persevere in the service of the Church while waiting for a priest. These brothers are our first collaborators.
From the very beginning, our priority is to involve the lay faithful in all areas of pastoral care to build the ecclesial community together with them.
In the mission of Yopougon, in the Ivory Coast, Maria Teresa, a Christian who has collaborated with the missionaries for some time, shared a few words on her journey of commitment and participation: “At the beginning, collaborating was difficult: each of us had his/her own idea. Nobody really wanted to commit to organizing a single ecclesial reality. Today, on the contrary, I experience that fraternity among us is truer at every level: we all have grown spiritually! We are no longer Christians who go to Church only to receive the sacraments, but we are Christians actively involved in building up the community”.
Love generates even more love
When the Community arrived on the outskirts of Maputo, the capital of Mozambique, the members were shocked by the great poverty in which people live and, in particular, by the precarious conditions of schools. Classrooms are neither large nor sufficient enough to contain even half of the children attending, and they therefore must gather in the shade of a tree and listen to the lessons sitting on the ground, with no available teaching materials.
Trying to respond to this need, albeit with little resources, the missionaries of Villaregia managed to build and supply a new classroom near the parish for fifty primary school students. It’s just a drop in the ocean, waiting for something more and better. In reality, this small drop nourished the hope of these children and their parents. Without consulting nor informing us, they promoted a collection of money to buy bricks and together they built the walls of two other classrooms – two new safe places to facilitate the education of a hundred more children. As they didn’t have the money to build the roof, they hopefully asked for our collaboration.
Now that the roof has been built, they are organizing to build more classrooms, and so, brick by brick, hope is strengthened for the future of these children.