Madrid (Fides Service ) – “I hope CAM 2 will bring fresh air to America and help Europeans to animate and continue mission in Europe, materially rich by spiritually impoverished” Bishop Francisco Pérez González, National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Spain told Fides Service with regard to the Second American Mission Congress being held in Guatemala. Spain has sent a delegation of five national and diocesan delegates involved in missionary work..
“CAM 2 is important for America because its evangelising and spiritual zeal is growing. Christian life continues to grow when it has special strength also it has difficulty with sects and lack of resources for human and material progress.
The Congress can help Europe which has many American immigrants to plan a more evangelising future for immigrant workers coming from Ecuador, Peru, Dominican Republic, Bolivia… In Spain we have more than 3.000.000 immigrants, most of them south Americans from Ecuador: a country today with mostly children and old people because the rest have emigrated. Starting from diocesan and parish pastoral we try to reach out to the Americans and plan courses of catechism and Christian formation. First contact usually comes through Caritas, where they for collect food or work tools. I think we must be more welcoming to people from other continents. From this point of view CAM 2 can certainly offer indications on how to help those who identify themselves with their people and homeland”.
Spain is the country with the highest number of missionaries, about 21.000 working all over the world: 52.07% women religious 35.21% brothers 8.08% diocesan priests and 4.2% laity. 54.1% are women; 6 missionaries out of 10 (65.82%). are over 63. Most Spanish missionaries are in America (73.4%), followed by Africa (14.6%), Europe (5.9%), Asia (5.8%) and Oceania (0.14%). Regions offering the most missionaries are: Castilla and Leon (30%), Madrid (10.8%) and Navarra (10%). (R.G.) (Fides Service 25/11/2003; lines 30; words 410)