Master of Arts (MA)
Religion & Culture / Religious Studies
Faculty of Arts
During the late fifties the Scarboro Foreign Mission Society worked in missions in Latin America, the British Caribbean, and Asia. Their work was primarily parish work. They gave religious instruction, administered the sacraments, and cared for the pastoral needs of their parishoners. In countries with sizeable non-Catholic populations they tried various means to attract people to the Church. In countries with Catholic majorities they experimented with a variety of methods for providing the sacraments and instruction to large numbers of people. Occasionally they became involved in running co-operatives; the reasons they gave for this work emphasized its spiritual benefits.
During the sixties some members reflecting on their experience in the mssion field and on the theology of Vatican II began to question their past understanding of mission work. They saw a relationship between faith and other aspects of life, the social, economic, political and cultural. They came to the conclusion that a missionary had to minister to the whole of a person’s life including to these ‘secular’ dimensions. As a result in some countries they began to become more involved in socio-economic projects while in Japan they began to try to adapt the Catholic Faith to Japanese culture. In some cases their involvement in new forms of ministry radically challenged the older understanding of the missionary vocation. By 1968 there were two understandings of mission work, fundamentally different in their basic premises. The first emphasized the role of the priest in taking the Faith to the mission, and in ministering to the spiritual needs of the individual. The second emphasized the need for a missionary to respond in his ministry to the needs and resources of the community in which he lived.
Phillips, Erin Frances, "The Scarboro Foreign Mission Society, 1955-1968: The Implications of the Social Dimensions of Faith for a Missionary Endeavour" (1986). Theses and Dissertations (Comprehensive). 1388.