Lusaka (Agenzia Fides) - “The Pontifical Mission Society of the Holy Childhood is very young in Zambia. 10 years ago dioceses started a serious program of organizing the Society as part of the overall life of the local of the Church. It is developing progressively becoming a natural dimension of the life of the local Church. The spirit and charism of the Society is permeating the education structures and activities of the church, empowering children to take a prominent role in the missionary activities of the Church,” says Fr. Bernard Makadani Zulu, National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Zambia, who sent Agenzia Fides his personal testimony on how the Holy Childhood Association is preparing to celebrate World Mission Sunday.
The missionary animation process emphasizes that children have a very important mission in the Church. They have to love the church, be generous and identify new ways to evangelize other children. The Church needs the gifts of children to bring the Good News to the ends of the earth.
One of the ways in which they animate the children here in Zambia is through Missionary Days, as the climax the various animation initiatives. They celebrate the missionary day with two important objectives; to intensify the missionary animation of children and to promote the children’s cooperation in the universal evangelization.
“We organize the missionary days to educate children in the spirit of solidarity through prayers for missions,” the PMS Director of Zambia said. “This promotes the growth of missionary vocations, missionary conscience and commitment. The children are encouraged to realize their role as active Christians through their offerings. They have to appreciate their missionary calling and also know the needs of others.”
Before the missionary day, missionary prayer is intensified among the children. They pray the missionary Rosary, share the Gospel , etc.
The Bishop/PMS Director/animators send an encouraging letter for this yearly day celebration to parishes and pastoral workers. They prepare adequate materials, posters, guidelines for the event, themes for the celebration for the purpose of animation before the actual day. The entire Christian community is encouraged to support the children in every way possible to make the event a moment of animation.
The animators inform the children about the collection for the previous year. On the occasion of this missionary day, children make a special collection for the solidarity fund of the children.
The Holy Childhood Association is becoming a large children's association in Zambia. It is offering a new opportunity of life to its children. The Association is working with thousands of children countrywide with the motto “Children helping Children”, educating them to the openness to the whole world, and to the plight of the many of the friends in disadvantaged situation.
“I thank all the people of God for their missionary life and service, for keeping the children at center of their missionary heart and for assisting them to develop the missionary spirit.” (LM) (Agenzia Fides 12/10/2009)