World Mission – the Asian Catholic Monthly Magazine – is celebrating 25 years of publication. Throughout these years World Mission has helped many Christians in Asia and the Philippines, in particular, to foster missionary awareness. We have asked its editor, Father Dave Domingues, what is the meaning of this celebration and what future he has in mind for the magazine.
Twenty-five years have passed – from a dream to a reality: from the maiden issue to the evolvement of the World Mission magazine until today. The purpose was and is clear – to inform and form the readers from a missionary point of view, fostering a greater missionary commitment in the spirit of St. Daniel Comboni. Above the many changes since then, a pressing question must now be addressed: in this digital age and fragmented society where printed magazines struggle to survive, does World Mission still have a place? My honest answer is: yes! It does have a place because its mission is far from being accomplished.
Three challenges remain constant for World Mission as it continues to fulfil its role amid a more challenging reality. First: to keep an ever-watchful reading of the ‘signs of the times.’ Second: to maintain a continuous effort to speak a language that is understood by the new generation and to foster dialogue. And third: to have the courage to remain faithful to its values, to its missionary focus, and to the Gospel. A careful and attentive reading of the reality in this diverse yet globalized world, provides the background for an efficacious communication. This is important not just to share information about what is happening around the world, but to help readers reflect and draw lessons from the ‘signs of the times’. We cannot afford to be distant and confined to ourselves and our own agenda, or be alienated from how people live, what they experience and dream about. Nor can we fail to provide an interpretation of what we are living for.
The future of mission
It is, therefore, essential that we speak a language that can be understood by all, particularly by the young generation. Our mission is to reach out, to move people to reflection and growth, to cultivate a missionary spirit where co-responsibility, empathy and solidarity will motivate the youth to commit anew to a common good, overcoming a selfish and individualistic approach – often lauded as the road to fulfilment and happiness, yet it often leads to emptiness and senseless lives. We believe in the potential of the young; to them belong the future of the Church and, therefore, the future of mission.
The values we advocate are rooted in the Gospel. Our plight is for equality, human dignity, justice, peace, integrity of creation, interreligious dialogue and to communicate a Church that has a missionary heart with particular love for the less fortunate. Our aim, in the words of Pope Francis to the participants of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications last September, is ìto communicate a face of the church that is ‘home’ to all. ìWe dare to dream of a world where people can treasure their differences and appreciate their commonality. In the midst of disoriented lives, isolation, increasing loss of meaning to life, and fear, we hope to build meaningful relationships with those we reach out to, our readers, providing a space for dialogue and discernment. We want to be a missionary presence that can continue to inspire, inform, and rouse the desire in people’s hearts for a renewed commitment to the Church, to society, and to a better world for all.