For the Spiritans, the journey into the future is not a guided tour, but rather an around-the-world adventure. On this adventure, the Holy Spirit is in charge, and the needs of the people on the side of the road will determine the stops we make. We go "where the spirit leads us," and while our mission is consistent, we respond to our changing world in Community, Global Ministries, Technology,Youth Ministry and Laity.
We come together in small group communities, to live a life of work and prayer in our diverse ministries. In the coming years we will create more inter-cultural communities throughout the world where religious and laity celebrate the unity of our common Spiritan life.
In Africa, we will continue our strong tradition of ministry to persons with AIDS, families of HIV/AIDS patients, and with treatment and education for AIDS orphans. We will also respond to the needs of the many refugees generated by civil wars and regional conflicts.
In Asia, we will create new frontiers of Christianity by pushing toward the interior. Even in countries where we are forbidden to openly evangelize, such as in most Islamic countries, we can have a witness of presence, solidarity and service. We are called to cross these boundaries in the hope of broadening Christ's community on earth, and to seek a new face of Christ in other cultures.
Connect the Dots
We must also seek to "connect the dots" globally and expand the relationship between our educators and our missionaries serving as evangelists in Taiwan. How might increasing such dialogue reveal our true missionary potential as it continues to unfold and expand?
Technology is a powerful tool with enormous potential to aid us in our work of preaching the Gospel in a credible way. Where it used to take ten days to get information to some of our missionaries in Africa, e-mail has reduced that to almost instant communication. Along with daily contact with our missionaries, we can provide English as a Second Language classes online to refugees, and other forms of long-distance learning. Web-based discussion boards can support interaction among fathers, brothers, lay groups and individuals considering a vocation to the Spiritan way of life.
Work with youth and young adults throughout the world has taken on an intensified, concrete focus in the U.S. as we seek to make the intersection of liturgical life and parish community more appealing to today's youth. As we create houses of hospitality for young people in transition and those interested in social justice issues, we can share common life with them and offer a spirituality lived on the edge of culture. In reaching out to them, we can call our youth to action as well, encouraging them even as we challenge them to forge their dreams of a better world into daily realities.
Vowed permanent members of the Spiritan religious will always need a dedicated group of laymen and laywomen to collaborate in all of our communities and our ministries. The laity will not be deterred. The witness of their lives reveals an unceasing dedication to Spiritan life and ministry and brings us together in a common vision of Church.
The Spiritan Congregation is committed to imagine new ways to encourage their gifts so as to further extend this shared mission and deep friendships that are rooted in the Spirit.
We are all part of the Spiritan family and, like family, we continue to find ways to live, work, and pray together.