San Juan de Puerto Rico (Fides Service ) – The Church in Porto Rico, faithful to the mission received by her Founder and in harmony with numerous appeals from the Pope, recently sent on mission ad gentes 76 lay Catholics from the 5 dioceses which form the ecclesiastical province of Porto Rico (22 from the archdiocese of San Juan de Puerto Rico, 10 from the diocese of Arecibo, 26 from Mayaguez, 5 from Ponce, 13 from Caguas,). The moving sending celebration attended by a large number of people was presided by Bishop. Rubén Antonio González Medina CMF, of Caguas, in the cathedral dedicated to the Sweet Name of Jesus.
Father Prisciliano M. Cárdenas, national director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Porto Rico, reports to Fides on the event and he recalls that for 17 years the National PMS Office, through the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, has been involved in the field of missionary formation, information and spirituality, for candidates to be sent on mission as part of the “Missionary Summer” programme.
“The Missionary Summer programme consists of a group of lay volunteers who despite difficulties, poverty, misunderstanding of the work which they face, animated by the same Holy Spirit who at Pentecost brought forth the universal Church, decide to bear witness to Christ in the new arenas of the modern world. Going beyond their personal and territorial boundaries they go to new places in their own country and abroad in search of the brothers and sisters most needy and forgotten.” This year the lay missionaries are being sent to Cuba, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru and Porto Rico. (R.Z.) (Fides Service 24/06/2003; lines 21, words 277).