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Term:    mission
(1) Jesus' central message and purpose to preach the good news of the kingdom of God, now carried on through the Church.
(2) Evangelising activity on behalf of non-baptised persons and others outside the Catholic Church (an older meaning)
(3) The sending of a person by someone with the power to send, and the specific task the sender entrusts to the one sent

POS (part of speech). Can be more than one:
     POS 1: N/phrase     
     POS 2: Adj/phrase


Term type ('EntryTerm' if no other applies):
     Type 1: EntryTerm     
     Type 2: EntryTerm


Term status:
     for POS 1: General     
     for POS 2: General
(General=also found outside Salesian usage; Salesian=possibly not well understood beyond Salesian circles; Neologism, Archaic, Deprecated refer to the term's status in Salesian discourse)


Recommended equivalent (it): missione


(In most cases the Italian term will be the official source term. In other cases below, if the term has its source in another language, this will be indicated by an [S] following the term.)


Recommended equivalent (es): misión


Recommended equivalent (fr): mission


Recommended equivalent (pt): missão


Suggested equivalent (other):


Other language:
Language code chosen from IANA registry]




Geographical/Regional usage:


The fundamental meaning of 'mission' comes from its Latin root, missio  or 'sending, and even while this would have been appreciated by Don Bosco in his time, the only way he would have understood the term would have been in the sense we so often find him referring to it - foreign missions, activity to convert benighted savages, such was theological understanding of the day.
Until 1972 the Salesian Constitutions spoke only of 'foreign missions'. By the time the renewed Constitutions were published in 1984, we learn that 'the mission sets the tenor of our whole life' (C. 3). After the Second Vatican Council the Church came to appreciate mission and missions as something to be seen within the mystery of the Church.
However, and importantly, it needs to be noted that the term gathers two concepts that are complementary. When they are not kept in mind, it can give rise to confusion and inappropriate use of the term.
Sending: the etymological root of 'mission' in missio. This is related to call or vocation.
Task: the object of the sending, the 'for what' one is sent, well expressed in the English term 'mission'.
Another set of ideas that need to be considered as the difference between the anthropological and social foundation of mission. In anthropological terms mission is the relation created between two persons when the need of one is felt by the other as a call that requires a response. This has the double aspect of call/sent.
The social meaning springs from this. When a need is experienced as such by social agents or representatives of society at various levels they look for and commission others to find the solution. (This lies behind the idea of commissioning). Very often when we work with volunteers, we are first able to call on these anthropological and social dimensions.  But they are not, in themselves, sufficient. We need to go to the Gospel and theological foundations of mission.
In 1971 the Special General Chapter explained the new use of he term: "Why 'mission' rather than 'purpose'? ...The Church adopts the term when speaking of its mystery... to speak of the 'mission of the Salesians' means highlighting from the beginning the sense of their vocation and presence in the Church. God calls and sends them for a specific service in the Church" (Acts of the SGC n. 23).
Mission today is now further specified by speaking of ad gentes (to the people (the old foreign missions) or inter gentes (the idea of inculturation of faith in another culture).
The mission takes many forms, with an enormous variety of services and ministries, but it will always be the unique mission of the Church.
And communion is both the source and fruit of mission.


Context (examples of use):
We, the Salesians of Don Bsoco (SDB), form a community of the baptized. Submissive to the bidding of the Spirit we are resolved to carry out the Founder's apostolic plan.....By carrying out this mission we find our own way to holiness. (C. 2)


Other notes:
Note that the term can be used adjectivally, as in 'mission territory'.
The Salesian mission can be specified more directly by speaking of 'the mission to the young' (missione giovanile) or 'our educational mission' (missione educativa). Those who work with us, including laity, are referred to as corresponsabili nella missione, those who share our mission, mission partners, lay mission partners.
We also speak of the 'common mission' (missione comune). The expression is found frequently in the Salesian Constitutions (e.g. C.44) where it refers to that which calls on our complementary and shared activity in achieving a common purpose. The common mission is the basis of pastoral planning in Christian life, either at the level of diocese or parish or in the case of a particular group with a particular shared mission (e.g. Salesian Family, the Salesian educative community...).


Cf also canonical mission




This section is intended for authorised users to add new information or alter existing information

POS (part of speech). A term may be more than one POS
(1) (2)



Term type ('EntryTerm' if no other applies)
(1) (2)   
[Initialisms like AGC are regarded as acronyms; a term like 'Bro.' is an abbreviation; an example of short form instead would be the main part of a very long book title (most of DB's book titles! 'Giovane Provveduto' is a short form). A loan term is not translated whereas a calque is. A blend is where two (or more) morphemes or 'word' parts have been combined to form a single term, as in the case of 'austraLasia'. Choose variant when there exists at least one other common form of the term. ]


Term status (General=also found outside Salesian usage; Salesian=possibly not well understood beyond Salesian circles; Neologism, Archaic, Deprecated refer to the term's status in Salesian discourse)
(1) (2)   
[Archaic refers to terms that have fallen out of regular use. Deprecated indicates official disapproval or if not disapproval, official abandonment at least. A neologism is a term that has come into play relatively recently - say, since Vatican II, but the time frame can be flexible.]


Recommended equivalent (it). In most cases the Italian term will be the official source term




Recommended equivalent (es)




Recommended equivalent (fr)




Recommended equivalent (pt)




Suggested equivalent (other) (Where it is the source term indicated with [S] and appropriate language code [chosen from IANA registry])






[The definition should not be imagined! It is assumed that it exists either in a reputable dictionary (or at least in similar words) or in some authoritative Salesian reference (e.g. the Constitutions, AGC or similar public document, Lenti's 7 volume series, and so on]




Geographical/Regional usage
[Certain terms are common in restricted parts of the Congregation. We have one 'prior' but only in INB; in some parts of Asia the Salesian community is called a 'convent', but not elsewhere]



[Etymological information, mostly]


Context (examples of use)

[English usage, obviously]  


Other notes
[Room here for more personal observations, private opinion if felt to be useful]


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