Sydney (Fides Service) - Australians are generous supporters for the work of the Pontifical Mission Societies which this year have provided assistance for people in tsunami affected areas, for people in need in Papua New Guinea and some Pacific Islands and some countries in central Asia. Donors include also non Catholics since the PMS Office is known to be credibile, transparent and trustworthy.
National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Australia Fr. Terence Bell told Fides that most of the donors make a regular annual contribution as well as giving more in situations of emergency such as the Dec. 26 tsunami disaster for example. But many people who are not regular supporters give generously.
Fr Bell lists regular donors under two headings: “Friends in Faith” circa 6,000 people living all over Australia who receive regular information on PMS progarmmes and activities and give at regular times in the year, and “Leaders for Life” to sustain seminarians and priests in mission territories.
“The PMS - Fr Bell recalled - are a concrete channel of the Pope’s mission aid in the world and the largest missionary oragnisation on the planet”.
Quoting Pope John Paul II, Fr Bell said “the PMS are a point of reference for those searching for the truth which saves”, they are a means through which the Church gives special attention to developing peoples “whose suffering is great and needs are acute”. Australia - he concluded - this year has collected 8.1 million dollars for PMS programmes. For more information see www.catholicmission.org.au. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 5/7/2005 righe 23 parole 238)