Brasilia (Fides Service) - A solemn celebration of the Eucharist presided by Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri Papal Nuncio in Brazil this morning opened the meeting of PMS National Directors of America, 1 to 5 March in Brasilia at the offices of PMS Brazil. The meeting is attended by 40 participants: 21 PMS national directors and delegates and 20 special guests invited by the Church in Brazil, 3 Bishop members of the Brazilian Bishops’ Commission for mission, the secretary general of the Brazilian Bishops’ Conference and priests, religious and laity involved in missionary activity. The objective is to “examine the main difficulties in the life of the Church in America and identify common lines of action suited to the context of each national situation”. The meeting will give ample space to activities and plans for this year and the future: Youth Mission in the light of a meeting in Caracas in November 2004; preparation for CAM 3; World Youth Day, Lay Missionaries, exchange of mission experiences.
Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, sent a message to the meeting in which he said: “We live in a time when we note with concern a decline in missionary awareness. The Holy Father has reminded the Church of the urgency of new evangelisation, explaining its doctrinal contents and methods. He set the perennial mission of the Church in the new cultural context of humanity, marked among other things by phenomena of globalisation, migration and secularisation”. The Cardinal underlined the importance of the missionary animation and formation of the people of God so that every local Church will become effectively missionary. The Cardinal said that the National Directors and their co-workers are called to “guarantee effectively the right of every person to hear the Good News of God revealed in Christ, in order to achieve their vocation to the full”. Recalling that doubts and new theological concepts can lead to confusion, the Cardinal urged the national directors to be in their respective countries “the soul of the Church’s mission”. At the end of the message, after the Cardinal asked God to bless the National Directors, he said he hoped they would increase their zeal to announce the Gospel for the good of the Church in America and the universal Church. (R.Z.) (Agenzia Fides 1/3/2005; righe 32; parole 420)