Rome (Agenzia Fides) - "Thanks to the experience of evangelization, mission, prayer, testimony and charity of the young Churches, we hope that the whole Church may rekindle its passion for Christ and the proclamation of its Gospel" stressed His Exc. Mgr. Protase Rugambwa, adjunct Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and President of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS), in his speech to the general Assembly of the Pontifical Mission Societies, held in Rome (see Fides 28/05/2016), on the theme "Awaken the conscience of the mission today. The PMS at the service of the young Churches".
The Archbishop reiterated a statement he said three years ago, when he participated in the General Assembly for the first time: "The PMS have reason to exist only if they jealously retain their specificity: animation, formation, cooperation with the local Churches for the Missio ad Gentes. We are not one of the many charitable agencies which collect funds for emerging Countries. What characterizes our service is the first evangelization, its universal character".
The centenary year of one of the four Pontifical Mission Societies, the Pontifical Missionary Union (PMU), born from the intuition of Blessed Paolo Manna, "so that all the baptized were sensitive, passionate and informed about their Ad Gentes missionary work", characterizes this year’s Assembly. Mgr. Rugambwa stressed the need of a reconsideration, of a reform of the PMU, in its role of "soul" of all the PMS, as described by Blessed Pope Paul VI. "This happy indication - said the Archbishop - convinces us not only to reconsider and renew the PMU should be a gradual process done together, particularly with the other three Pontifical Societies, but this process proves to be beneficial for their work and their identity, strongly tied to the financial support of the missionary Churches". Therefore he urged not to "fear" to allow ourselves to be renewed by the Spirit: "In the context of Ecclesia semper reformanda, even the Pontifical Mission Societies, thanks to the hundred years of the PMU, need not fear conversion, reform, death and to rise again".
After outlining the main activities of the General Secretariats in the last year and indicated some future steps, the President of the PMS concluded his speech with these words: "As the sower, worried only about the quality of the seed, of the good preparation of the land and the good quality of his work, we expect the good fruit of the Spirit that always renews and makes us vigilant, attentive to the signs of the times, to the constant need for personal and courageous conversion reform of the service of mission structures and the salvation of the whole world". (SL) (Agenzia Fides 02/06/2016)