Brasilia (Fides Service) - For the Pontifical Mission Societies and the whole of the Church in Brazil and the world over, the annual Mission Campaign for the month of October, which has its climax on World Mission Day this year 24 October, is a priority. “This campaign of evangelisation and missionary cooperation is organised together with the Catholic Bishops’ Conference and the local Churches because it is a major part of pastoral work all over Brazil to help the Church live her missionary dimension” the PMS Office says in the leaflet of presentation.
The principle aims of the Mission Campaign are to encourage new commitment for universal evangelisation in every sector of the people of God; promote spiritual cooperation of prayer, sacrifices, offering of suffering especially, and witness of life; to encourage material cooperation, and foster the same spirit of solidarity and fraternal sharing in favour of the Church’s universal of the early Christians; encourage missionary vocations of priests, religious, catechists and lay animators for evangelisation ad intra and ad extra; organise ecclesial communities in view of mission ….
“The Mission Campaign gives continuity to the Brotherhood Campaign in the sense that the whole people of God is sent on mission, particularly in those regions and situations where the Kingdom of God has still to be proclaimed. The mission of Christians is not confined to the borders of their own town or country. Christians are citizens of the world. They are everywhere at home”. This is why the theme and slogan chosen for the 2004 Mission Campaign - respectively “I was thirsty and you gave me a drink” (Mt 25,35) and “Give me a drink!” - are in harmony with the theme and slogan della Brotherhood Campaign 2004: “Brotherhood and Water”, “Water, Source of Life”. “Respect for the right to water and respect for creation itself demand more brotherhood and human solidarity. Christians have to duty to help protect and promote life, protect the environment and promote mission,” Father Padre Daniele Lagni, National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Brazil told Fides.
The image for World Mission Day 2004 chosen by the PMS in Brazil - the Samaritan woman drawing water to quench her thirst -recalls on the one hand the thirst of humanity on the other it underlines that proclamation is born of the experience and personal encounter with the living Jesus Christ. In effect after meeting Jesus the woman returns to her own town to tell everyone about him. As every year in collaboration with the Bishops’ Conference to foster participation the national Pontifical Mission Societies Office distributed special mission animation material to dioceses and communities all over Brazil. (R.Z.) (Agenzia Fides 24/9/2004; Righe 33, Parole 454)