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Abstract

John Prager reflects on the elements of the missionary vocation as well as its challenges, or as he calls it, “the shadow side of the mission.” To be a missionary is to “accompany Jesus into the world of the poor.” It requires insertion (the assumption of the poor’s lifestyle and the discarding of security), inculturation (entering into and learning from the worldview of the poor), and new evangelization (cooperating with God’s love in many ways, especially ministering with the perspective of the poor in mind). Vulnerability, insecurity, doubts, confusion, fear, anger, and loneliness are all part of the shadow side of the mission. Prager offers general advice for dealing with these challenges and gives specific advice from the Vincentian tradition.

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