asian mission congress 2006

NEWS AND UPDATES


Asian Mission Congress on Internet


The proceedings of the AMC in Chiang Mai will be available on the internet during the celebration days. The internet server of the Thai bishop's conference will be made available to stream parts of the proceedings of the congress but also other additional information will be available.


The fabc website will provide a direct link to the Thai server so that those who will not be present in Chiang Mai can also participate. The congress begins in the evening of October 18 and will last till mid-day of October 22, Mission Sunday




INDIA Delegates Will Bring Indian Experience To Mission Congress In Thailand


BANGALORE, India (UCAN) -- Indian Church people who attend the upcoming Asian Mission Congress will highlight inculturation and interreligious dialogue in presenting Christ in Asia, according to local Church officials.


"The Church in India is a neighborhood communion, which is constantly in dialogue with other communities and religions," says Father Siluvai Ignaci, coordinator of the Indian delegates to the Asian Mission Congress.


Representatives of India's Latin and two Oriental rites are set to attend the Oct. 18-22 congress on "Telling the story of Jesus in Asia." About 1,000 people from Asia are expected to take part in the event that the Office of Evangelization of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC-OE) is organizing in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand.


Father Ignaci told UCA News Sept. 13 that 40 delegates would represent the Latin Church, the largest of the three rites, while the Syro-Malabar and Syro-Malankara Churches would be represented by about 10 delegates.


The two Oriental-rite Churches, both based in Kerala state, southern India, trace their faith to Saint Thomas the Apostle and follow Syrian Church traditions. They and the Latin rite, largely the product of efforts by European missioners from the 16th century, make up the Indian Catholic Church.


Father Vijay Shantiraj, secretary of the proclamation commission of the Latin rite bishop's conference, told UCA News Sept. 13 that the Indian delegation would present their Church's experience and concerns through cultural programs, sharing and reflections, as well as through papers.


Father Saturnino Dias, FABC-OE executive secretary, based in Goa, western India, said the congress seeks to demonstrate and deepen faith. "It's a kind of reliving the joy of being Christian and coming together to share this faith with one another and with the world," he told UCA News.


Participants will bear witness to the presence of Jesus in the life of families, youth, the elderly, migrants and the poor. Also, people of other religions will share how they perceive Jesus and how knowing Jesus has enriched their lives, Father Dias said.


Workshops on the three full days of the congress, Oct. 19, 20 and 21, are meant to interiorize each day's theme and enable delegates to reflect and share the joy of their faith, he added. The first workshop will discuss the "Story of Jesus in Peoples of Asia," the second will consider the "Story of Jesus in the Religions of Asia," and the last will have participants reflect on the "Story of Jesus in the Cultures of Asia."



Workshops Central To Asian Mission Congress


Workshops are essential part of the Asian Mission Congress in Chiang Mai October 18-22, 2006. Everyday all the participants will have an opportunity to share with others experiences and insights into the themes of the different days. Whereas the question for the first day workshop is about "My personal faith story," the second day asks "What do I appreciate in the followers of other religions?" The third day workshop asks "What practices or traditions in my culture do best express the Gospel of Jesus?" The workshops are destined to make the whole congress more "interactive" and to go beyond general presentations.


Details...




Cardinal Sepe Appointed Papal Envoy for Asian Mission Congress


Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Cardinal Crecenzio Sepe as his special envoy to the Asian Mission Congress, which will be held Oct. 19-22 in Chiang Mai, Thailand.


Cardinal Sepe, the 63-year old archbishop of Naples, is a past prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. This was announced by the Vatican Press Office on August 19, 2006.


Cardinal Ivan Dias, the current prefect of the congregation will also be present during the whole congress.




Asian Mission Congress Registration Ends September 1


The final date to register for the Asian Mission Congress from October 18 to 22 in Chiang Mai, Thailand, has been set for September 1. All later registrations can not be considered any more for organizational reasons. The different Asian countries have a quota which is handled by the national Pontifical Mission societies offices and the respective Mission Commissions of the Bishops' Conferences. Registrations are to be send to the General Secretariat which is with the FABC Office of Evangelization (e-mail: fabcoph@sancharnet.com). Media personnel has to register with the FABC Office of Social Communication (e-mail: fabc_osc@pldtdsl.net or fabcosc@gmail.com) for accreditation. The registration fee for the official delegates is 1000.- Thai Baht (ca. 25.--US $) for all others 1500.-- Thai Baht.




Indian Team For Asian Mission Congress Meets Bishops


BANGALORE, Karnataka (SAR NEWS) -- Thirty-eight delegates chosen from different regions of India to attend the October Asian Mission Congress in Thailand had a meeting with the bishop-members of the Conference of Catholic Church in Bangalore, August 8.


Archbishop Vincent Concessao of Delhi, chairperson for the Congress organized by the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conference, said that he was happy that the delegates were chosen to represent India at the congress and are enthused to know more about its structure.


'Telling the story of Jesus to the people of Asia' being the theme, the delegates should prepare themselves to spread the story of Jesus to their fellow country people, the bishop said.


The congress will experience the rich variety of mission activity present in various parts of the continent and the delegates would learn from each other the ways and means to communicate the essence of the Gospel in their own milieu, the chairman said.


Chairperson of the CCBI Family Commission, Archbishop Agnelo Gracias, who had recently been to Valencia as the representative of India, felt that a thorough catechesis of mission animation should be prepared to animate the entire Church of India at all levels so that the event of the Congress becomes part and parcel of Christian life of India.


Calling every baptised Christian a missionary, the archbishop advocated dialogue, proclamation and catechesis as the means to make the Indian Church a Missionary Church.


President of the Conference of Catholic Bishops in India, Archbishop Oswald Gracias, spoke of the need of the Congress and said that the Church in India should organise a National Mission Congress after the Thailand Asian event.




Asian Mission Congress as Faith Experience


The upcoming Asian Mission Congress (October 18-22) will not be an academic or scholarly conference but it supposed to be an experience of Faith in Community. The details of the program show that there will be sharings of personal experiences in different mission related areas like with elderly and youth with the different Asian religions with the world of Media but also the fact of Consumerism or the experience of Migrants. There will be workshops on different themes to give the participants themselves an opportunity to share their own life and expectations. Every day is under a different heading beginning with the Story of Jesus in Asian Peoples to be followed by the Story in Religions and Cultures of Asia up to the Life of the Church. At the conclusion of everyday, also a "Reflective Theological Synthesis" is foreseen.




Thailand Mission Congress

Towards the Asian Mission Congress


A national mission congress for Thailand will be celebrated from Aug 11-12 at the St Joseph's School in Samphran, Nakhon Pathom. The congress is part of a year of evangelization for Thailand in preparation for the FABC organized Asian Mission Congress to be celebrated October 19-22 in Chiang Mai.


The theme of the national congress is the same for the Asian congress, "Telling the Story of Jesus in Asia."


The national congress expects some 300 participants from the dioceses but includes also a youth gathering with some 1,000 young people as well as other youth involved in the different activities.


The gathering will also includes cultural activities and presentation on the history of the catholic Church in the country. The theme song of the Asian congress which was composed by a Thai seminarian will be the theme song for the national congress this August.


The Church in Thailand is altogether some 300,000 Catholics in 10 dioceses out of a total population of 10 million.




Pontifical Mission Societies Taiwan call for full participation in First Asian Mission Congress


The national office for the Pontifical Mission Societies in Taiwan has urged Catholics in Asia to take an active part in the First Asian Mission Congress to be held in Chiang Mai diocese in Thailand 18-22 October on the theme “Telling the Story of Jesus in Asia.” According to Christian Life Weekly, issued by Taipei diocese, the Congress will culminate with the celebration of Mission Sunday on 22 October. The Congress will have four principal goals: share the joy of faith in Christ; celebrate evangelization of Asians through real life; promote better knowledge of the Ad Gentes decree issued by Vatican II; foster new a lively evangelization. The Pontifical Mission Societies in Taiwan encourage bishops, priests, religious and lay people, young people especially, to take an active part in the Congress signing up for it. Each diocese will be represented by at least 3 delegates. (Agenzia Fides)




Theme Song for Asian Mission Congress


A theme song for the Asian Mission Congress was composed by Seminarian Booncharat from the Lux Mundi National Major Seminary in Thailand. The lyric is based beside others on scriptural texts from The Magnificat (Lk 1:47) and the call of the apostles (Jn 1:43-49). "My Heart fills with joy" the song starts and "I will tell my friends" it continues. "Go and tell the world, Asia's people, that God is always here. Share his love, everyone in unity with Jesus Christ our Lord." This Thai song was selected by the executive committee of the congress from several songs submitted from other Asian countries like the Philippines and Indonesia.


Play song



Exhibits at the Asian Mission Congress


The Asian Mission Congress will have a possibility for exhibits related to the theme. There is limited space available and therefore interested parties should contact the organizers as soon as possible. The content of the exhibits should be reflections of the theme from different parts of Asia. Commercial use of the exhibits for sale of books and items is not allowed. Please indicate in your application form what kind of material you plan to exhibit and how it is related to the congress theme.


AMC-Exhibition Details

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'Points for Departure' for Asian Mission Congress


The plan to hold the continental mission congress in Asia was introduced by Cardinal Crescencio Sepe, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, during his address to the Central Committee of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conference in Bangkok September 27, 2002.


Monsignor Gilbert Garcera, the national director of the Pontifical Mission Society in the Philippines, writes in an article of World Mission magazine, Manila (March 2006). He cites the fact that in Latin America such congresses are successfully celebrated already since 1977. For the first Asian Mission Congress, he says the main reasons are: First, the congress is a concrete response to the late Pope John Paul II's call for the "Eucharist: The Principle and Plan of Mission." In Mane Nobiscum Domine, the Pope writes: "The 'culture of the Eucharist' promotes a culture of dialogue which here finds strength and nourishment" (no. 26). Another reason is the 500th anniversary of the birth of St Francis Xavier, patron of mission and missionaries. This is "a providential signal to focus Asia's attention on a model of ad gentes mission." Third, from the local considerations, 2006 is the 300th anniversary of the approval of the oratory of Blessed Joseph Vas, the first indigenous "Society of Apostolic Life" in Asia (1706-2006).


All these are "points of departure," Garcera writes, providing "Asian Christians with reasons to celebrate our faith." The first Asian Mission Congress in Chiang Mai, Thailand October 18-22, 2006 will be a celebration of Faith and Life under the heading "Story of Jesus in Asia: A Celebration of Life and Faith." For over three days, the congress will reflect on this theme through personal faith stories from sharers and missiologists.


Daily themes have been arranged for participants to share and interiorize "The Story of Jesus in the Peoples of Asia" (October 19), "The Story of Jesus in the Religions of Asia" (October 20), "The Story of Jesus in the Cultures of Asia" (October 21) and "The Story of Jesus in the Life of the Church in Asia (October 22, the World Mission Sunday).


see full text

First Asian Mission Congress: Points of Departure

By Msgr. Gilbert A. Garcera

(file require Microsoft Word)




ASIAN MISSION PRAYER


A special prayer for the Asian Mission Congress was approved by heads of the organizing committees in their January 20-21 planning meeting in Bangkok.


The prayer starts with the mission of Jesus willed by the Father and refers to the fact that Jesus was born in Asia. The situation of Christianity in Asia is described as a "little flock in this vast continent." Christians are called for "loving service to all" especially the "least among our brothers and sisters."


The Holy Spirit is asked to empower us in "telling the story of Jesus in Asia and by discovering the various modes of His presence." The Spirit of the Risen Lord should "speed our steps" in "encountering our brothers and sisters of other faiths and cultural traditions through a dialogue of life and faith."


Finally, Mary as the Mother of the Church in Asia is asked to lead Christians to her Son and to stimulate their "passion for the will of God."


The prayer is primarily composed for the Asian Mission Congress but can be used as a general "Asian Mission Prayer" by all Christians throughout the continent.





Asian Mission Congress Takes Shape


Preparations are in full swing for the upcoming Asian Mission Congress October 18-22, 2006 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The national congress secretariat in Thailand located at the bishops’ conference in Bangkok presented at a January 21-22 preparatory meeting an extensive action plan for the event. This was further developed by those responsible for the international dimension.


In preparation for the congress, the Thai church will have its own national congress in August before the Asia-wide event.


The preparatory meeting decided to have three categories of participants: Delegates, Guests and Observers. Delegates are the official persons from the different Asian countries who will be nominated and endorsed by their respective bishops’ conferences in cooperation with the national offices of the Pontifical Mission Society. Guests are especially invited people like representatives of other Christian churches in Asia. Observers are those who have a personal interest in the mission congress, and will secure their own accommodation and board. They might, however, have limited access to certain activities of the congress like workshops.


The congress theme song selected from different proposals was composed by seminarian Booncharat Suksawang of the Lux Mundi National Major Seminary in Thailand.


A special Asian Mission Prayer was finalized as a prayer for the congress and beyond.


In support for the Asian Mission Congress, the Comboni World Mission Magazine will publish a special issue September-October with statistics and reports on the Church concerns and mission in Asia. This publication will also serve as source for discussions during the congress.


There will be also special liturgical arrangements involving Asian cultures and mentalities. The congress is organized jointly by the Thai bishops’ conference and the FABC Office of Evangelization in cooperation with other FABC offices and representatives of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Asia.





FABC Mission Congress Concludes
Year of Evangelization in Thailand


The Asian Mission Congress from October 18-22, 2006 will conclude a national year of evangelization of the Catholic Church of Thailand. On mission Sunday this year October 23, 2005 the year of evangelization for the whole country was opened through a pastoral letter of Cardinal Michai Kitbunchu as president of the bishops' conference and Archbishop Louis Chamniern of Thanae-Nongsaeng as the chairperson of the Episcopal Commission for Mission and Catholic Education of the bishops' conference. Through this celebration, Thai Catholics who are only a small minority of some 300,000 within a population of 66 million should become "aware of the importance of the Gospel and to be real witnesses of Christ everyday." The Asian Mission Congress is organized by the FABC-Office of Evangelization in cooperation with the Thai bishops' conference. The congress will take place in Chiang Mai, in the north of the country.