Reconciliation Minstries Vision Statement
The sources of suffering, division and conflict are many. The source of healing and reconciliation is one: God. In its anguish humanity yearns for healing and reconciliation. God sent Jesus Christ into our midst to re-establish communion among us and to heal the wounds of division. God’s reconciling work begun in Jesus Christ continues in the Church, which has been called the sacrament of reconciliation, a community reconciled and reconciling.
Reconciliation is the restoration of communion between those whose bond of mutual belonging has been impaired or even severed. Reconciliation is based on the principle that what is common among human beings ought to prevail over every discord. This should be especially the concern of Jesus’ disciples, whose common bond through Baptism demands that they be responsible for building the unity of the Church and who have been given the missionary responsibility of building the unity of the entire human race. Therefore, the Paulists have undertaken a reconciliation initiative to develop a wide pastoral process to address the needs of listening, healing, dialogue and reconciliation in the Church today.
Reconciliation is fostered by dialogue and humble service. Dialogue requires the willingness to listen and to learn as well as the clear and truthful articulation of one’s own position with the intention of achieving greater mutual understanding and discernment. Dialogue is patient, persevering and empathetic, but rarely sufficient. Reconciliation also requires humble service so that the desire for greater communion is made visible through deeds. It may also lead to the healing that comes from forgiveness. Ultimately reconciliation fosters wholeness of being for individuals and their relationships within their communities.
Reconciliation within the community of the Church demands dialogue and humble service in all the sectors of ecclesial life, especially among bishops, priests and laity; between clergy and consecrated religious; between the magisterium and theologians; between parishes and ecclesial movements; with all who feel distanced in any way from the Church or hurt by the Church.
The Church must also work for reconciliation within the world, striving especially for peace and justice, the latter through the preferential option for the poor. The Church must also maintain respectful dialogue with the academic and scientific communities and develop relationships with the world of the arts.
The reconciliation initiative begun by the Paulists will be multi-faceted, with invitations to wider society, to the wider Church, to parish communities, and to individual Catholics whatever their pastoral situation. In every effort at reconciliation, perseverance in the face of obstacles is the surest sign of commitment to reconciliation, as ultimately God’s will and achievement.