Buenos Aires (Agenzia Fides) - “The Bishops’ Commission for Missions and the Pontifical Mission Societies considering that Mission Groups are a complex reality in the Church in Argentina have issued a handbook, fruit of the working of the Holy Spirit in the various different experiences fostered in Mission Groups in the archdiocese of Salta and the NOA region” said Jairo Calderón Benavidez national director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Argentina presenting the new Handbook for Mission Groups in Argentina.
The Book offers “elements and guidelines to improve the working and evangelising activity of these groups, offers support material for the formation of animators and organisation structures at the national, regional and diocesan level to guarantee more effective organic pastoral work..
Mission Groups were started in the decade 1960 - 1970 with the collaboration of Argentinean Rural Missions, Missionary Action Argentina and various religious congregations. Originally they started as urban groups who went to the interior to evangelise. Later, joined by other groups from the interior they began to go further afield on mission. A characteristic of these Mission Groups is that they work beyond their own parish generally during Summer or Winter holiday time.
In Argentina there are over 600 mission groups of lay people of all ages who strive to put into practice Christ’s mandate “go out to the whole world to preach the Gospel” (Mk 16, 15). Many groups have priest and religious among their members. They are inserted in the evangelisation dynamics of the original community, parish, school etc., with their eyes fixed on mission ad gentes. They collaborate with the pastoral activity of their community and their priority is to reach those who are most distant, most in need, people forgotten by all. With mission activity ad intra and ad extra they offer a concrete service to the local Church and prepare for mission ad gentes. For more information apply to: firstname.lastname@example.org (RZ) (Agenzia Fides 2/12/2005, righe 28, parole 382)