|Image taken at Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, Flatrock, NL|
Historically, canon law is the oldest continuously functioning legal system in the western world. Fortunately, throughout Church history some of the world's finest legal, theological, and pastoral minds have contributed to the formation of canon law, all trying to serve one goal, that expressed in the final norm of the Code, Canon 1752: "...having before one's eyes the salvation of souls, which is always the supreme law of the Church." [Source]
The supreme law of the Church is the salvation of souls, so says Pope John Paul II. Missionary work is what our Lord Jesus had in mind for His Apostles, the Bishops, when He pronounced The Great Commission:
18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
The Catechism agrees.