Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) – On April 3, 2014 Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples appointed Fr. Ryszard Szmydki, of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) as Secretary-General of the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith.
Fr. Szmydki was born on 26 April 1951 in Tarebiski, Poland. In 1970 he entered the Congregation of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. During the period of his formation he spent two years in Cameroon. He was ordained a priest on 2 July 1978.
Subsequently he obtained a Licentiate in Dogmatic Theology at the Pontifical Urbaniana University and a Doctorate at the Catholic University of Lublin, where he taught for many years. In the OMI general chapters in 1992 and 1998, he was elected Assistant General in charge of the missions. In 2005 he returned to Poland and was appointed Vicar Provincial for the missions. In 2010 he was elected Superior of the Oblate Province of Poland, re-elected on September 13, 2012. He is the author of numerous studies in the field of dogmatic Theology and ecumenism. He speaks Polish, Italian, French and English.
The Society for the Propagation of the Faith, one of the four Pontifical Mission Societies, was founded in 1822 in Lyon (France) by venerable Pauline Jaricot. It has the task of promoting missionary cooperation in all Christian communities, it takes care of missionary vocations, and above all promotes several initiatives for the collection of material aid. (SL) (Agenzia Fides 25/04/2014)