The mission of God's people in the light of God's mission : a missiological case study on the Catholic Church of Bethlehem, South Africa
Mofokeng, Dikotsi William
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Missiology is about God's call and his sending forth of people to do his will. His call is always linked to his purpose. Thus, the primary purpose of God is salvation. And his salvation is all embracing. Similarly, the Church is the sacrament of salvation and is mandated to proclaim faith and salvation to all. Hence, the mission of God (missio Dei) takes place in the Church, and is implanted by the Church in the world (missiones Ecclesiae). The mission which Jesus gives to the Church is made possible by his own mission (missio Christi), and thus has its foundation in God. The history of the Catholic Diocese of Bethlehem begins with the German Missionaries of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans). Importantly, for the Spiritans, the growth of the diocese depended upon the training of the lay people to teach catechism, to lead Priestless Sunday services and gradually by the training of the local clergy as well. The present situation in the Catholic Diocese of Bethlehem is the seemingly shallow understanding of faith and mission, and also the dwindling number of Catholics. This is clearly evident in the number of baptisms in the baptismal register and the head counts on Sundays. Nevertheless, the diocese is still called to preach the Good News to the poor and the oppressed. This thesis assesses the efforts of the pioneers (German Missionaries) as well as the current situation in the Catholic Diocese of Bethlehem, and recommends a paradigm shift for the future.
- Theology