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On March 27 – 29, 2019, a symposium on mission and development was held by Missionszentrale der Franziskanerin Bonn. On the auspicious occasion of its golden jubilee this year, MZF organized this three-day-seminar with the theme, “Do not ask how to convert the world! Practical and Theological Challenges for Christian Development Cooperation,” under the direction of Br. Johannes Freyer, OFM. 

There were seven keynote speakers from India, Cuba, South Korea, USA and Germany for the symposium. They are missionaries, theologians of missiology, a government official and a scientist. They have given inspiring talks on the theology of mission and its development, the meaning of mission according to the comparative theology, the challenges and the future of the mission, mission as cooperation for the care of common home, and the development cooperation.

Around fifty brothers and sisters have participated in the symposium sharing their experiences and opinions on the questions: What does mission today mean theologically and practically? Which (tragic) story is behind the term mission? What is the relationship between today’s understanding of mission and development cooperation? etc. And most importantly, it was painfully and repeatedly called on for the urgent necessity of the total involvement of the Church in the global movement of climate action as its mission.

Br. Johannes Freyer has concluded the whole session with a dialogue quoted from the Sacred Exchange between ST. Francis & Lady Poverty. He emphasized that the Franciscan identity as brothers and sisters to every being in the world which itself is the Franciscan convent is still relevant and even more crucial in today’s mission of the Church.

Br. Rufino Lim, OFM
Assistant, JPIC Office – General Curia, Rome