Buenos Aires (Fides Service) - The Pontifical Mission Societies in Argentina held a National Meeting for diocesan directors in Buenos Aires 2 and 3 March. The meeting, chaired by National Director Rev. Father Jairo Calderon Benavidez, I.M.C., was held at the PMS national offices.
The annual meeting had the following objectives: “formation; information on the missionary progress in each diocese; approval of PMS economic and finance, programming and planning activities for 2004 ” Rev. Jairo says in a note sent to Fides.
The work on the first day had two distinct moments: one of a formative character and the other of an informative character. The day opened with a conference given by Father Marcelo González, Doctor in dogmatic theology and Professor the Catholic University of Argentina, on the theme “Proclaiming the Faith Today”. After the conference the participants discussed and shared at the level of pastoral regions difficulties experienced in ecclesial communities and the new challenges of the world today. This was followed by missionary testimony from Father Alejandro Marina, diocesan priest of San Isidro (Argentina), for several years engaged in missionary activity in Cuba. Father Alejandro illustrated the characteristics, possibilities and pastoral realities of the Church in Cuba.
After the formative part, the assembly presented and approved PMS economic and financial reports 2003: the reports were seen to be very positive, taking into account the general situation in the country. The first day of the Meeting ended with a Eucharistic Celebration presided by Archbishop Adriano Bernardini, papal nuncio in Argentina. In his homily the Archbishop underlined the missionary nature of the Church and the urgency of the missionary mandate: in view of this the role of missionary animation and cooperation carried out by the PMS is an unavoidable tool. Moreover the Nuncio underlined the importance of the testimony of missionary spirit which every Christian must give, but especially consecrated persons and therefore he urged those present to pray for Argentina’s missionaries who, after leaving their country, are on the frontiers of evangelisation. During the second day of work the four national secretaries of the PMS, Propagation of the Faith, St Peter Apostle, Missionary Childhood and Missionary Union, presented their reports on activity during the year 2003. Then some diocesan Directors who took part in the Second American Mission Congress CAM 2 last November in Guatemala, presented their testimony. Another important moment was the study of CAM 2 conclusions. The participants, grouped by pastoral region, studied and reflected on the conclusions identifying priorities and means to render them operative. The day closed with a Eucharistic Celebration presided by Bishop Luis T. Stöckler, Bishop of Quilmes and President of the Argentinean Bishops’ Commission for Missions, who encouraged the participants to continue, with the support of prayer, the important task entrusted them by the Church. (R.Z.) (Agenzia Fides 12/3/2004; righe 38 - parole 505)