Global Integration of Catholic Missions in the United States Today

By Zago, Marcello | International Bulletin of Missionary Research, January 2001 | Go to article overview

Global Integration of Catholic Missions in the United States Today


Zago, Marcello, International Bulletin of Missionary Research


Mission is the work of the Holy Spirit, but the Holy Spirit assumes and seeks human collaboration. Therefore mission always comes about and develops in a particular socioreligious context. Catholic missions in and from the United States of America are no exception.

The American Setting

The United States is a leader in many ways:

* in racial integration, welcoming immigrants of every extraction and giving them citizenship;

* in the exercise of personal and group freedom, including that of religion;

* in the economy, producing wealth and work, spreading worldwide;

* in scientific and technological progress, attracting the greatest experts in the world and finding new ways of doing things;

* in modern social communications, exporting its film productions and its various news networks and giving rise to a globalized culture.

For many of these reasons American society appears as a precursor of the emerging world that is globalized and pluralistic. Many of these manifestations can be considered not only as human achievements but also as God's gifts.

The religious impact of the United States in the world is a recent and important fact. The Christian churches of evangelical and charismatic tradition have a widespread and dynamic impact both within the country and worldwide. They have a clear missionary thrust for spreading the Gospel. The attention given by these churches to immigrants of whatever origin has always borne fruit in conversions and in the establishment of Christian communities. American political and cultural presence in other countries, especially in Latin America, has helped their missionary activity. The military regimes in the 1970s and 1980s supported their growth as part of a policy of diminishing the impact of the Catholic Church. In different countries many people looked, and still look, at the Unites States as a country formed of Protestant communities that were able to give rise to the socioeconomic progress of society. Aided by these attitudes, the Protestant evangelical missionary movement found expression in a variety of humanit arian programs that were normally accompanied by evangelical and ecclesial proposals. Among the characteristics of Protestant missionary efforts have been involvement of the laity in short- and long-term projects, communication between the receiving community and the benefactor, and various forms of partnership. One notes this dynamic approach also in the development and teaching of missiology in the seminaries and in the sending of missionaries for various periods of time.

The Catholic Church in the United States is generous in its financial contribution to the missions. Many American men and women have served with great generosity as missionaries in many countries. In general, however, the missionary impact of American Catholics is less visible, both abroad and within the country among new immigrants. The reasons are ambiguous. It is difficult to discern whether this lessened impact comes from attitudes that are more cautious, or from a certain fear or inferiority complex, or from a concentration on the needs of its own community.

The history of American Catholics, who came from the four winds and who have had to insert themselves into a markedly Protestant society, perhaps explains a tendency to retreat into themselves. The church had to take care of its own communities and help them become part of the country; its first priority was not missionary expansion. The time has now come, however, for the Catholic Church to be more committed to the mission ad gentes and to have a missionary approach in all her activities within the country and elsewhere. There are many signs that the church is moving in this direction.

To Whom Is Mission Directed?

The Second Vatican Council described Christ's church as missionary "by its very nature" (Ad gentes [AG], no. 2), but that does not mean that her every activity is equally missionary and that every situation has the same urgency and missionary value.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Global Integration of Catholic Missions in the United States Today
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.