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The Characteristics of Christian Ministry at Villa
“The Pope loves everyone…but he is obliged in the name of Christ to remind all that the rich must help, respect and promote the poor.” (Gaudium Evangelii)
We seek in ministry to bring Jesus’s healing touch to those most in need. We also believe that Jesus Christ is especially to be encountered in the lonely, the thirsty, the naked, the prisoner (Matthew 25: 25 -30). Ministry therefore serves both the poverty of our own community, in the context of a secular, materialistic, walled in society, as well as humbly serving those who are the poorest and the least. We seek to be the body of Christ (eyes, hands, heart), and to empower students to share in discerning those most in need of friendship and support. It is essential that we as a Christian college embrace our mission and ministry to reach out to those who are most in need, whilst also healing our own poverty.
Some characteristics of how we can be seen as acting as the body of Christ:
- Radically inclusive. Any boy/ staff member can feel involved, (Cf 1 Cor 12). Different staff and students initiate the see-judge-act cycle and feel that they will be listened to. (No initial judgment, eg as to motive or ‘Catholicity’). Such requests are made in the first place to the VP –MME.
- The focus is both on the formation and transformation of our own community and on leaving “this magnificent planet… somehow better than we found it”. It is the right of the boys, with our support, to directly engage with those whom we seek to serve.
- We recognise that we are also served by those whom we encounter in ministry, eg the Rosies patrons and the Filipino scholars
- The focus is on relationships, both within and between our own groups (limbs of one body) and with those whom we seek to serve and be served by – eg high quality of respectful relationships with Filipino schools.
- The manner of our action is characterised and tested by signs of the spirit: joy, peace, hope, faith, courage. (If we are angry or stressed, then something is wrong.)
- We seek to liberate those involved in ministry by placing the authentic light burden and easy yoke on staff and students, eg we are not excessively burdened by money worries or the need to do things the way they have “always been done”. We accept that there will be new wine in new skins with each year: a balance between the existing projects that give life and new expressions of ministry.
- We operate from the abundance model. We are casting nets into deeper water to catch unthinkably more - rather than competing for a limited pie.
- We are aware of our responsibilities as part of the church (the people of God on the road).
- Following Jesus’s example, we sometimes get away from the crowds to draw energy. We engage in scripture-fed interiority and prayer, as the genuine and replenishing source of all good we can offer.