Düsseldorf – Closing the Pauline Year with a Mission to the People
To conclude the Pauline Year, an extraordinary mission on the theme, Open the Doors to Christ, was held in Dusseldorf, Germany. From Pentecost Sunday to the Feast of Corpus Domini, the residents of the city experienced in a first-hand way what it means to live and share one’s faith by “opening the doors to Christ.”
The mission was prepared by a team of 72, in keeping with the Gospel statement: “The Lord chose 72 disciples and sent them out to every town and city…” (cf. Lk. 10:1). Those chosen for this purpose, including the Daughters of St. Paul, their lay cooperators and many other pastoral workers, spent a year of intense study and spiritual preparation for the mission, which was carried out in 60 different parishes. Essentially, it consisted of witnessing to the beauty of being a Christian through catechetical encounters, diurnal and nocturnal prayer sessions, conferences, round table discussions, the distribution of thousands of biblical messages prepared for the occasion, concerts and plays on spiritual themes, games, festivals, etc.
The initiative was welcomed by the public with great enthusiasm. Cardinal Joachim Meisner, Archbishop of Cologne, his three auxiliary bishops, 80 priests and many religious and laity, “invaded” Dusseldorf’s streets and public squares to joyfully communicate their hope and faith in Jesus Christ and engage the people in dialogue.
The Daughters of St. Paul stationed in this city, who began to collaborate with the initiative in June 2008, took advantage of the celebration of the Pauline Year to give their apostolic presence on the evangelization team a special touch. During the mission, they were able to witness to the vocation to the religious life, to participate in prayer liturgies organized for vocations, and to hold many media exhibits from which they also diffused flyers on the Pauline life and apostolate.