Novena in Honor of St. Joseph Freinademetz

Day 5. Proclaiming the Good News: Preaching and Catechesis on the Missions

Our great missionary to China did not hesitate to travel throughout vast areas of the countryside in order to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ. In pursuit of this aim he spared no effort or sacrifice in building bridges so that he could communicate with the people. His missionary spirit was expressed in a continuous desire to be with the people. He visited them, and organized the Christian community. He continued to bear witness to the Good News of Jesus Christ. In July 1882 he wrote to a friend: “In two or three days time I will go to live in a community some distance from here. My life from now on will be taken up travelling from one place to another so that I may win over as many people as possible for God.” Let us ask God that through the intercession of St. Joseph Freinademetz our community will share with joy and enthusiasm the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Romans 12:4-8

Reflecting on the text, we recall some of St. Joseph’s thoughts:

  • In 1890 he wrote: “I have been granted two graces by God for which I will never cease to give him thanks; that of my priesthood, and that of becoming a missionary.”
  • Concerning the best approach to missionary work he said: “The best role models for gaining new members to the Church are those who have recently joined themselves. Our Christian men and women must themselves become apostles. They must pass on to the catechumens and to those recently baptised a real fervour and enthusiasm in sharing the faith with others. The wellbeing of the mission and the growth of the Church will depend on the formation and efficient employment of these soldiers of Christ.”
  • In a letter written to Arnold Janssen he said: “The best means of obtaining fruits on the missions is to have a course for catechumens of at least one month’s duration. It is only through a systematic course of instructions, united with religious practice, that anything solid can be achieved.”

God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we thank you:

  • for calling Joseph to follow your Son, the Divine Word, in the missionary task of proclaiming the Good News to the people of China.
  • for the gift of your Spirit which filled him with love for your Son and which compelled him to dedicate himself fully to spreading your kingdom among the people of China.
  • for the missionary witness of Joseph, a man of humility, sincerity and complete detachment.

God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit we ask for ourselves:

  • the missionary love of Joseph to go out and meet those who have not heard the Good News of Jesus Christ.
  • the zeal of Joseph for the word of God to unite the hearts of all people.
  • the hope of Joseph to fashion among diverse peoples, one community in the one Spirit.
  • the openness of Joseph to follow Jesus’ example of total commitment to the poorest, and those in greatest need.
  • the desire of Joseph to learn well “the language of love, the only one understood by all humanity.” Amen

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