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Giovan Battista Brunori an archivist and professional journalist

Introduction

“Today missionary activity still represents the greatest challenge for the Church and her missionary task must remain foremost,” says Pope Francis in the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium. And he adds: “We cannot passively and calmly wait in our church buildings.” It is necessary to move “from a pastoral ministry of mere conservation to a decidedly missionary pastoral activity. This task continues to be a source of immense joy for the Church: ‘Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance (Lk 15: 7).’”

The Pope wants a Church that goes forth–a missionary Church with open doors and the ability to announce to everyone the joy of the Gospel. A Church that is a “field hospital” in which to treat the wounds of women and men today–wounds of the body, spirit and mind. Pope Francis urges the Church to leave behind its own certainties in order to dialogue with human beings and their weaknesses, in the existential peripheries of the world.

From the perspective of a volunteer from a field hospital, I will now attempt to give you an overview of what is happening in the world, focusing on the changes taking place and on the crises that require our special attention because only by seeing clearly what is at stake can we then take action to change bad into good.

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