The call of Pope Francis to celebrate October 2019 as an Extra-Ordinary Missionary Month, in connection with the centenary of the promulgation of the apostolic letter “Maximum Illud” on the Activity of Missionaries in the World, triggers serious reflections on the different dimensions of mission. The words of the Risen Lord, “Go out to the whole world and proclaim the Good News to all creation” (Mk 16:15) make the basic mandate given to every Christian.

The Church is basically and intrinsically missionary. This aspect is not to be diluted. However, a closer look reveals that mission is not just gaining others for the Church, but is Church’s being for others. That is, the Church participating in the joy & hope and the sorrow & fear of the people of today through the dynamic of the Gospel so that she functions as the catalyst for vigour, encouragement and consolation, which finally blossom into the kingdom of God.

In this context Carmelgiri Research Institute for Community Development and Pastoral Studies (CRI cdps), intends through this national conference to create a platform for serious deliberations and sharing on various aspects of witnessing to the Gospel, so that a healthy, all-embracing and holistic approach is arrived at. To realize this it is important that the topic is treated not only from an ecclesiastical or a theological perspective but also from a philosophical, sociological, psychological or even from a political perspective.

RIC cdpf: Research Institute of Carmelgiri for Community Development and Pastoral Formation is a Catholic Institution that envisages the education and formation of those involved in ecclesial ministry and leadership. It functions at Carmelgiri St. Joseph Pontifical Seminary, Aluva. It operates as the interface between the academic world and the pastoral reality and aims at translating the insights of the Second Vatican Council into pastoral practices so that all can take their appropriate roles in the local faith-community.