Magisterial Documents: Ecclesia in Oceania

Apostolic Exhortation on Jesus Christ and the Peoples of Oceania: Walking His Way, Telling His Truth, Living His Life Pope John Paul II
22 November 2001

The full document is available on the internet.

Brief History

Ecclesia in Oceania was published by Pope John Paul II as the summary the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for Oceania, which was held from November 22 - December 12, 1998. In the words of the Holy Father, "The Assembly analyzed and discussed the present situation of the Church in Oceania in order to plan more effectively for the future. It also focused the attention of the universal Church on the hopes and challenges, the needs and opportunities, the sorrows and joys of the vast human tapestry which is Oceania." [# 2]

Reference to the Blessed Virgin Mary takes place twice in the document: in # 5, when speaking of Christ who was born of Mary, and in #53, the final paragraph and conclusion to the document. The document speaks of the deep devotion to Mary as an integral aspect of the Catholic faith in Oceania. Special veneration is given to her under the title Help of Christians. She has been proclaimed "Patroness of Oceania under the title of Our Lady of Peace." [# 53] It is especially under the aspect of peace that Pope John Paul II concludes the document. In a prayer addressed to Mary, Help of Christians, Mother of the Church, Bright Star of the Sea, and Our Lady of Peace, Mary as "light of every ocean and mistress of the deep" is asked to "guide the peoples of Oceania across all dark and stormy seas." [# 53]


Introduction 1-2

Glory to God at the dawn of the Third Millennium
The Synod

Chapter I. Jesus Christ and the Peoples of Oceania
The Person of Jesus - The call 3
Presenting Jesus Christ 4
Jesus Christ: Shepherd, Prophet and Priest 5
The Peoples of Oceania - Place and Time 6
Mission and Culture 7
The Special Synod Assembly - The Theme 8
The Experience 9

Chapter II. Walking The Way of Jesus Christ in Oceania
The Church as Communion - Mystery and Gift 10
The Church Particular and Universal 11
Mutual Enrichment 12
Communion and Mission -The Call to Mission 13
Challenges 14
A Church of Participation 15
Inculturation 16
The Current Situation 17

Chapter III. Telling the Truth of Jesus Christ in Oceania
A New Evangelization - Evangelization in Oceania 18
The Agents of Evangelization 19
The Primacy of Proclamation 20
Evangelization and the Media 21
Catechesis 22
Ecumenism 23
Fundamentalist Groups 24
Interreligious Dialogue 25
Hope for society - The Church's Social Teaching 26
Human Rights 27
Indigenous Peoples 28
Development Aid 29
The Sanctity of Life 30
The Environment 31
Charitable works - Catholic Institutions 32
Catholic Education 33
Health Care 34
Social Services 35

Chapter IV. Living the Life of Jesus Christ in Oceania
Spiritual and Sacramental life - Come Holy Spirit! 36
The Spirit of Interiority 37
"Lectio Divina" and Scripture 38
Liturgy 39
The Eucharist 40
The Sacrament of Penance 41
Anointing of the Sick 42
The people of God - The Vocation of the Laity 43
Young People in the Church 44
Marriage and Family Life 45
Women in the Church 46
New Ecclesial Movements 47
Vocations and Seminaries 48-49
The Permanent Diaconate 50
The Consecrated Life 51-52

Conclusion 53
Mary our Mother 53


AAS 94 (2001): 361-444 (AAS text is in English);

© This material has been compiled by M. Jean Frisk.
Copyright is reserved for The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute.
Most recently updated in 2005.

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