Office for Christian Unity

Thursday 23 November 2023


The three missions of the Church

The Church’s mission is nothing less than to be at the service of God’s loving relationship with the world. “God so loved the world that he gave his own Son”. He so loved the world, not the Church. So the Church has nothing to do but serve the love with which God loves the world.

A visit to the Mediterranean shows you how God’s compassion must be shown in a multitude of ways for the peoples along its shores: faced with malnutrition, educational issues, war, poverty and so on.

The Church’s mission is essentially about learning to cooperate with the Holy Spirit (…) We quickly run out of steam trying to breathe in the Spirit’s stead.  John Paul II said: “The Holy Spirit is present and active, not only in people, but also in cultures, societies, history and religions” (Encyclical Redemptoris Missio, chapter 28).

It is a huge challenge.

The Church’s mission is to deploy its vocation of catholicity.

This catholic vocation is to reveal its humanity to humanity. Its deepest unity is to commit itself to actions that concretely embody this unity.

This is what catholicity is. Not a label that distinguishes us from one another, but a vocation. That’s why Catholics don’t have a monopoly on catholicity.

It’s a vocation.

Cardinal Jean-Marc Aveline (Archbishop of the Roman Catholic diocese of Marseille)
August 19, 2023, Hautecombe Abbey (France)


Prepared by the sisters and brothers living in Hautecombe Abbey (France)

To be adapted according to your location

At Hautecombe Abbey, 54 discipleship school students from 21 countries are taking part in Ecumenism Week. 

Lord, we thank you for the ecclesial and cultural diversity present at the abbey. Grant us your Spirit of unity so that the world may believe.

“I have not given you a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of strength” is the theme of the ‘Sisters conference’ to be held in Lyon on the weekend of December 2-3, which will bring together women from different backgrounds.

Lord, we entrust this ecumenical meeting to you, as well as the women who are working for greater justice in the world, particularly in countries where women’s dignity is not respected.

To mark the 70th anniversary of the death of Abbé Paul Couturier’s, a conference entitled ‘L’abbé Paul Couturier, unité des chrétiens et unité de l’humanité’ [Abbé Paul Courtier, unity of Christians and unity of humanity] will be held in Chambéry next Monday, November 27.

Lord, thank you for the example of Abbé Paul Couturier and his passion for the unity of your Body. May we, following his example, read the signs of the times and respond to your call to be the builders of a more united world.