Monastic Life and the New Evangelisation

Dom Jean-Pierre Longeat OSB
President of AIM

jpThis Number 106 of the Bulletin of the AIM takes as its starting-point the Synod on new evangelisation held in autumn 2011 and Pope Francis’ post-synodal exhortation to reflect on the relationship between monks and evangelisation.

Every Christian community is at the service of the proclamation of the Gospel. This is true equally for monastic communities who live this dimension by putting an accent primarily on prayer and hospitality. They are inspired to this by the earliest Christian communities as described in the Acts of the Apostles. The community of the disciples paid special attention to the preaching of the apostles, to the breaking of bread, to prayer and fellowship. In this way it devoted itself wholly to the mission of the Gospel as an image of the Kingdom in the heart of the world.

Dom Eamon Fitzgerald, abbot general of the Trappists, and Mgr Francis Follo, permanent observer of the Holy See at UNESCO in Paris, show well the fundamental links between monasticism and evangelisation. Fr Francis You, President of the Monastic Conference of France and abbot of Notre-Dame at Maylis, puts his own stress on some features of Benedictine identity. The witness of the lay Manquehue community in Chile, inspired by the Benedictine tradition linked to the monastery of Las Condes, nourishes its proclamation of the Gospel by a lectio divina lived by a large number of people. We have thought it worthwhile to present this witness as a positive factor in the proclamation of the Gospel.

In this issue we have devoted considerable space to reflection on important events in various monastic circumstances in different regions of the world. These reflections themselves cast light on the ability of monasteries to proclaim the joy of the Gospel.