AMERICA/BRAZIL - 1st National Seminar on profile of Popular Missions, preferred means of achieving National Evangelisation Programme launched by the Catholic Church in Brazil

Monday, 13 September 2004

Brasilia (Fides Service) - To offer a concrete contribution to the National Evangelisation Programme launched by the Church in Brazil with the theme “We want to see Jesus - the Way, the Truth and the Life”, especially by means of Popular Missions, one of the best ways to announce the Good News of the Gospel to as many people as possible, the “1st National Seminar on the profile of Popular Missions and the Programme, We want to see Jesus”...was held recently in Brasilia at the national office of the Pontifical Mission Societies. The Seminar, promoted by the Commission for Missionary Activity and Inter-Church Cooperation, the Missionary Culture Centre, the National Bishops’ Conference and the National PMS Office, was attended by 85 representatives, bishops, priests, religious and lay persons, from 62 dioceses in different regions of Brazil.
Bishop Sergio Eduardo Castriani, CSSp, Bishop of Tefe, also President of the Commission for Missionary Activity and Inter-Church Cooperation, gave an overall presentation of the Project of Evangelisation starting from the Guidelines for Evangelisation issued by the Church in Brazil, and highlighted two fundamental dimensions: a personal encounter with the living Jesus Christ and commitment for mission.
Father Sergio Brandamini PIME, a missiologist, spoke on the Theology of Mission underlining that “mission ad gentes” is the most visible sign of the Catholicity of the Church and proof of her certainty that Jesus is the Saviour of all peoples. From this viewpoint, Popular Missions, as part of ad intra mission, are a new way of being Church because they help communities to become missionary and prophetic”.
The Seminar allowed plenty of time for sharing of experience and listening to reports from special envoys whose testimony revealed the valid contribution offered by Popular Missions to the evangelising mission of the Church. Father Roni, CSSR illustrated the experience of Redemptorists missionaries, Father Daniel Higino, Popular priest in the administrative region of Santa Maria, DF, said Popular Missions had increased dynamism in his Popular community.
In working groups the participants outlined paths to help missionaries in their preparation and formulated proposals for family visits keeping in mind the variety of missionary realities, large urban centres, city outskirts, small towns, rural communities. The fruit of this work, after revision by the Missionary Commission, will be published in the form of a handbook to help dioceses give new impulse to the missionary journey of the local Churches. (R.Z.) (Agenzia Fides 13/9/2004; Righe 32, Parole 401)