Shrine of Devotion, Shrine of Mission
Evangelization | Mission
Another essential program of shrine ministry is evangelization both for church volunteers and church goers. The ministry of evangelization is primarily exercised through prophetic preaching, connecting the Word of God to the daily issues, concerns and aspirations especially of the ordinary people.
The biggest challenge that the shrine has encountered in terms of evangelization is how to cultivate a positive and liberating devotion to Mary. How to integrate the popular religiosity of the devotees with a genuine sense of mission and active social involvement and encourage them to become more active in their respective parishes and communities.
How did the shrine evangelized the devotees, how did they challenge the devotee’s religiosity? The shrine has constantly challenged is primarily exercised through prophetic preaching; connecting the Word of God to the daily issues, concerns and aspirations especially of the ordinary people. Preaching about the icon and social dimension of devotion. “The shrine is the place of the Word par excellence ... It is extremely important that a shrine be associated with the persistent and receptive hearing of the Word of God, which is no mere human word, but the living God himself present in his Word.”
The shrine realized that the the devotional aspect was emphasized for a long time. In recent years, there was a stress on the evangelizing power of Mary and of the icon. A more icon-centered preaching on Mary, A Mary like us (historical Mary) preaching. In this light, a redirection of proclamation/preaching about the Icon and the novena was needed--from sentimentalist, e.g., Mama Mary, devotional proclamation (as if patronizing Mary [Mary doesn’t need any patronizing]), from arbiter for our needs, Mary is looking at us and recognizes our basic economic needs. Mary looks beyond our economic needs; Mary pierces into our souls—Mary sees a more profound need, hunger and thirst within us, i.e., existential and eschatological hunger.