We are ALL missionary disciples!

“By virtue of baptism you are missionary disciples. Now what are you doing about it!”

-Sr. Dianne Bergant

On March 23, approximately 75 Dehonian employees and collaborators joined SCJs in an online Lenten Hour of Recollection led by Sr. Dianne Bergant, CSA. Her topic: “The Mission of the Baptized Based on Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium.”

“Pope Francis tells us that by virtue of baptism we are ALL missionary disciples,” said Sr. Dianne. “Ministry belongs to ALL of us.”

Quoting Romans 12:6-8, she emphasized that each person has unique gifts that contribute to the whole of society:

“Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us exercise them: if prophecy, in proportion to the faith; if ministry, in ministering; if one is a teacher, in teaching; if one exhorts, in exhortation; if one contributes, in generosity; if one is over others, with diligence; if one does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.”

“There are a variety of gifts, but there is same spirit,” said Sr. Dianne. “There are a variety of services, but the same Lord. A variety of activities but the same God. To each is given the manifestation of the spirit for the common good… Never underestimate the importance of what you do; it is important for the service of the whole.”

However, it is not just the task itself that is a ministry. It is doing that task as a “missionary disciple.”

“A disciple is one who learns; a disciple is one who learns from the master,” she said.

A missionary is one who goes out and shares and utilizes that knowledge with others. A missionary is witness to Christ’s teachings by doing one’s work – one’s MINISTRY – in the spirit of Christ.

“At the end of Mass instead of saying, ‘Go in Peace,’ we should say, ‘Now get out there and do something!” said Sr. Dianne.

“That’s what ‘Go in Peace’ means,” she continued. “It means going out there and changing the world. Go back to where you came from and make it better than yesterday. That is the reign of God.

“Friends, that is our privilege and responsibility by virtue of baptism. Not by profession, not by ordination, not by vows, and not because you work for a religious organization. Baptism gives us responsibility and privilege. WE have been called to transform the world, every single one of us!

“Don’t ever minimize what you can do to serve others. It is significantly important. You never know what your smile can do for someone suffering great consternation. That’s establishing the reign of God. That is making that person feel important and loved.

“By virtue of baptism you are missionary disciples. Now what are you doing about it!”

Sr. Dianne Bergant is a Sister of St. Agnes of Fond du Lac, WI, she served on the faculty of Catholic Theological Union from 1978 to 2014, where she had many SCJs as students. Her curriculum vitae is lengthy, including service as President of the Catholic Biblical Association of America (2000-2001) and as the Rev. Robert J. Randall Distinguished Professor of Christian Culture, Providence College, Providence, RI (2009-2010).

Click here or on the image at the top of the page to view a recording of the Hour of Recollection.