ASIA/PAKISTAN - More than 1,200 new missionaries: the first fruits of the Year of the Mission

Karachi (Agenzia Fides) - There are over 1,200 new missionaries, including religious and lay people, especially young people in Pakistan: there are all those who, on the occasion of the Year of the Mission, underway in the country, participated in the courses of missionary animation in the various dioceses and "are ready to be missionaries in Pakistan but also ad gentes": This is what, in an interview with Fides, Fr. Mario Rodrigues, National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) in Pakistan and organizer of the "Schools for Missionary Animation" (SOMA) says, involving delegates, catechists, pastoral workers, youth. The Year of the Mission, which will end in October, was launched on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the foundation of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Pakistan. "These leaders mature the responsibility of spreading the Word of God and evangelizing. The mission, for us Christians in Pakistan, means service and love for one’s neighbor" specifies Fr. Mario. The Director states that "there are already three young missionaries who, after a period of formation, have left for the mission ad gentes in Asia, a continent that awaits the testimony and preaching of the Gospel."
A session of the SOMA opened in Karachi in past days, with the participation of delegates (two priests, two religious, two lay people, two young men for each diocese), who are formed on missionary themes (theology, current affairs, spirituality), then become, in turn, animators of local realities, especially of young people. Another session was held in April in Sindh and Baluchistan, involving the communities living in tribal areas or in particularly difficult situations. An even earlier session was organized in February this year in Punjab. The final will be held next August in Rawalpindi, on the pastoral aspects of the mission, while in autumn there will be the solemn conclusion of the Mission in Islamabad so, informs the Director of the PMS," we have invited Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples in Pakistan. " (PA) (Agenzia Fides 03/05/2012)

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