The situation of the Order today

17. The new foundations in Africa and Asia have to be counted among the most significant realities of the Order at the present time. Some new communities have come to life, not as the result of institutional planning, but rather as the surprising fruit of the action of the Spirit. They represent a “great hope for the Order with their opening to new cultures and churches and with their promising flourish of vocations” (1989 General Chapter, n. 70).

18. These communities are presently greenhouses of missionaries “ad gentes”; and at the same time they are already active in the work of evangelization in the difficult areas in which they live.

19. With the political opening of Eastern Europe there appears for the Order the possibility of rebuild ing its presence in that area, even if it’s only a time for planting seeds for future growth. This renewal will make possible an apostolic service of re-evangelization in countries where for decades the public expression of the faith was repressed with violence.

20. In the so-called first world members of the Order are making every effort to overcome every inclination to conformity and resignation and to renew their evangelical presence. New types of communities and new forms of service are being established in answer to the new pastoral and social challenges of the area; but it is especially through the retrieval of prayerful and fraternal witness that the Servants of Mary are striving to build up an evangelizing presence in countries where the most advanced processes of modernization and secularization have generated new kinds of existential and social poverty.

21. In Latin America the Servants of Mary are trying to keep u with a Church set on making its own both the struggle of the oppressed and their culture. The new evangelization on this continent is striving to bring together faith and life, the gift of grace and the struggle for justice. As it tries to fit it self into the context of people’s lives the Order is also working at a greater internal integration and a fuller participation in the indigenous local cultures.

Questions for community reflection
1. How is our community, or how is it able to be, in communion with the Order’s new foundations and, more broadly, with the newest evangelization frontiers?
2. In what ways is our community close to those who live nearby, especially to the poorest?
3. To what degree is our community inculturated into the environment in which it lives? Do we, for example, speak the language of those to whom our message is directed? Is our proclamation of the gospel truly communicative?