EUROPA/AUSTRIA - The missionary Church in Europe facing the signs of the times

Friday, 11 March 2011

Gottweig (Agenzia Fides) – The meeting of National Directors of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) begins today (11/03/2011) at the Abbey of Gottweig in Austria. Its theme is “The missionary Church in Europe: response to the signs of the times”. The meeting is an opportunity to challenge and exchange ideas and experiences and take stock of the situation of just what is now the Missionary Church in Europe. Father Vito del Prete, PIME, Secretary General of the Pontifical Missionary Union (PMU) will coordinate the meeting along with some experts. The growing number of people not yet Christianised in Europe, the contribution of missionaries in Europe, the new evangelisation and mission ad intra will be the major issues addressed. Prof. Clemens Sedmak, head of the Research Center for Ethics and Poverty at the Faculty of Theology, University of Salzburg, will explain the social and demographic developments in Europe in the XXI century - changes, challenges and new perspectives. Fr Timothy Lehane, SVD, Secretary General of the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith, will talk about the positive and negative aspects of the new techniques for fund-raising and how to continue to guarantee assistance for the needs of the Church. The marketing manager of Missio Munich and the National Director of the PMS Austria will, together with the National Directors, seek to find new keys to motivate and actively support the Pontifical Mission Societies. The meeting, at which Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna, will also present, will open with the celebration of Mass and will be punctuated by moments of prayer with the monks who live in the Abbey of Gottweig. The meeting will conclude on 15 March. (SL) (Agenzia Fides 11/03/2011)