AMERICA/VENEZUELA - Inform, form, promote and strengthen relations among all those involved in mission in Venezuela: objectives of the 24th Annual Mission Meeting.

Monday, 26 April 2004

Caracas (Fides Service) - Representatives of 22 dioceses and 3 apostolic vicariates, missionary institutes of apostolic life operating in Venezuela, as well as the Secretaries of different services of Pontifical Mission Societies animation for youth and pre-youth, took part in the 24th Annual Mission Meeting 13 to16 April. The meeting, organised every year by the National Office of the PMS and the Missions Department of the Bishops’ Conference, was held in Caracas at the offices of the Bishops’ Conference.
The aim of the meeting was to promote and strengthen relations among all those involved in mission work and mission animation. The assembly began every morning with Mass presided by different person including Bishop Jesus Alfonso Guerrero president of the Bishops’ Commission for Missions.
Among the topics discussed, updating of the National Mission Council COMINA in conformity with “Cooperatio Missionalis” document issued by the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples. Participants lauded COMINA for its activity of missionary animation and special activities of missionary pastoral particularly among Indigenous peoples. Much space was given to studying the proposals which emerged from the 2nd American Mission Congress (CAM 2).
The meeting was an opportunity to offer participants reflections on topical matters taking into consideration the difficult situation in Venezuela today, to help them to carry out their missionary task to the best of their ability. “How to engage in missionary work and missionary animation in a changing world?” was the title of a talk given by Consolata Missionary Father Andrés Bigotti; “Missionary spirituality” as an ongoing pilgrimage was the theme of a reflection offered by Capuchin Father Carlos Bazzana.
Besides identifying new paths for missionary pastoral to reach everyone, the assembly also discussed initiatives planned for World Mission Sunday 2004, which in Venezuela will have the theme: “This is my body given up for you…be missionary”.
At the end of the meeting “the participants voiced gratitude to God for an encouraging event which had given new impulse for mission commitment with new enthusiasm. It was a most enriching experience for all and showed how slowly but surely Venezuelans are growing in missionary awareness. The missionary meeting proved to be a good place to discover and develop new ways for missionary pastoral to reach all people” Father José Rafael Romero Linares, National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Venezuela said in a report to Fides.
The agenda of activities for 2004 planned by the National Office of the Pontifical Mission Societies reveals the variety and complementary nature of its many activities for missionary formation and animation aimed at prompting, encouraging and strengthening mission awareness as well as promoting missionary vocations in all sectors of the people of God. (R.Z.) (Agenzia Fides 26/4/2004; righe 40 parole 489)