1. In his Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte, John Paul II exhorted us to face the Third Millennium with hope and enthusiasm, as a time of grace and of new missionary impetus. “A new millennium opens before the Church like a vast ocean on which to launch out, trusting in the help of Christ. The Son of God, who became flesh two thousand years ago for love of mankind, carries out His task even today: we must have a penetrating gaze to perceive it, and above all a great heart to become instruments ourselves” (NMI 58).
2. With penetrating gaze and a great heart (the gaze of Faith and the passion with which Comboni dedicated himself to his mission) we Comboni Missionaries – enlightened also by the unique and extraordinary event of the canonisation of the Founder – wish to discern in our world of today the various signs of the presence of the Spirit, the chief agent of mission, to take up its challenges for the Church, for consecrated life, the mission and our Institute.
With regard to this, the Pope goes on: “The missionary mandate leads us into the Third Millennium, calling us to the same enthusiasm that was characteristic of the Christians of the first times: we can count on the power of the same Spirit that was poured out on Pentecost, and who urges us to set out again ‘sustained by the hope that does not deceive (Rm.5:5)’” (NMI 58).