Catholic-Adj. All-Embracing; Universal

Article excerpt

On October 22, 2000, some 70,000 participants from 124 nations gathered in St. Peter's Square, the Vatican, to celebrate World Mission Sunday. The World Missionary Congress that preceded this event brought together 1,200 bishops, priests, missioners, and lay persons from around the world. Presiding over the October 22 celebration, Pope John Paul II said: "The world cannot live without missionaries."

Here in North America, from September 28 through October 1, more than 700 Roman Catholics attended Mission Congress 2000 at the Holiday Inn in downtown Chicago. The U.S. Catholic Mission Association presented Mission Awards for 2000 to Gerald H. Anderson, former editor of this journal. "in recognition of [his] many years of service to the missionary community and to USCMA," and to the Overseas Ministries Study Center "in recognition of the Center's years of commitment to Global Mission Studies," which was received by the present editor and director of the Overseas Ministries Study Center.

The October 2000 issue of the INTERNATIONAL BULLETIN included significant, but essentially Protestant, essays dealing with the New York 1900 Ecumenical Missionary Conference, early twentieth-century financing of Protestant missions from North America, and the evangelical AD 2000 movement. But of course there is a much larger story of God's work in our world, for the church is profoundly catholic.

The dictionary definition of "catholic" gives three aspects to its religious use: (1) of the Roman Catholic religion, (2) including all Christians, and (3) including all of the Western church. In this issue we focus attention on the first of these definitions; we offer a largely Roman Catholic perspective on the most central of all Christian subjects-mission. …