ASIA/PHILIPPINES - New enthusiasm for the mission in the Year of grace 2012, between proclamation and solidarity

Manila (Agenzia Fides) - The year 2012 will be "a year of grace for the mission" in the Philippines: the Episcopal Conference has in fact declared it the "Year of the Pontifical Mission Societies" (POM), a period that will be marked by a renewed enthusiasm for the proclamation of the Gospel and the Christian witness, which is expressed in love for ones neighbor, especially the poor and needy. The proclamation of the Good News and solidarity are two key words in the Year of the PMS, in a country which is affected by the terrible social consequences of natural disasters such as the typhoon Sendong (or Washi) in Mindanao.
As reported to Fides by Fr. Socrates Mesiona MSP, National Director of the PMS in the Philippines, the Bishops have issued an apostolic exhortation stating officially the Year of the PMS, and states that, through a wide range of activities (prayer in communities, workshops and seminars, mission activities in schools, mission initiatives at home and abroad), means "to awaken among the Filipinos a dynamic and effective commitment to the preaching of the Good News of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth".
Fr. Mesiona tells Fides that "the declaration of the Bishops is a recognition of the important role of the PMS in raising awareness and missionary commitment of every believer".
Central Event of the Year of the PMS will be a "Mission Festival" to be held in April 2012 in Marikina City, with the idea of awakening in all parts of the Filipino Catholic community, "the zeal and love for the mission ". In addition, a Mass for the Year of the PMS which will be held in July 2012 at the Shrine of St. Therese of the Child Jesus in Pasay City to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the death of the Venerable Pauline Marie Jaricot, founder of the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 05/01/2012)

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