Czestochowa (Agenzia Fides) – To deepen the missionary spirit and entrust the missionary work of the Church to Mary's motherly protection: with this spirit over 400 people attended the evening prayer vigil for the evangelization of the world that took place at the Marian Shrine of Jasna Gora, in the night between 2 and 3 December. The vigil, traditionally organized each year by the Pontifical Missionary Union (PMU) on the occasion of the feast of St. Francis Xavier, was preceded by a missiological session, attended by members of the PMU and the Missionary Apostolate of the Sick, the living Rosary and seminarians.
As reported to Fides by Mgr. Tomasz Atlas, National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Poland, the Mass presided by His Exc. Mgr. Piotr Turzyński, Auxiliary Bishop of the diocese of Radom, opened the missiological session. The Bishop, in his homily, indicated Mary as an example of openness to the Holy Spirit. At the end Mgr. Turzyński thanked the Pontifical Mission Societies because they support the missionary work of the Church through prayer and sacrifice, and because they remember that being a Christian is accepting and proclaiming the word of God without keeping it for oneself. After the Eucharist, the scientific session began, which focused on missiological and Mariological topics gathered under the theme "Mary as an example of bride of the Holy Spirit", which was opened by Mgr. Atlas, followed by various speeches. Father Marek Tatar, professor at the Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University, spoke of Mary as a model of obedience. He emphasized that Mary did not receive the missionary mandate directly from Jesus, but with obedience and openness to the gifts of the Holy Spirit she became an example of disciple and a missionary in the Last Supper, in the teaching of John Paul II she is called "Star of Evangelization".
Fr. Leon Nieścior, OMI held the lecture on the apostolate, the prophetism and motherhood of Mary from the perspective of the first centuries of Christianity. The evangelizing and formative phenomenon of the culture that flows from the Marian shrines in Latin America, was presented by Fr Tomasz Szyszka SVD, professor of the Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University. This was followed by the testimony of Sister Aldona Wysocka SSpS, a missionary in Togo, who, speaking of her ministry among the Togolese, found that the heart of man is the most important missionary territory. The session ended with the screening of a video on the Pontifical Missionary Union and the presentation of the book by the Italian missiologist Gianni Colzani.
After the Appeal of Jasna Gora the prayer vigil began, during which the special protection of Mary was requested for Father Miroslaw Gucwa, of the diocese of Tarnow, elected new Bishop of the diocese of Bouar, in the Central African Republic, where he has been working for 25 years. The prayer of the Rosary was led by a group of seminarians of the major Seminary of the diocese of Pelplin, while the adoration was animated by the youth of the pastoral university of Lódź.
His Exc. Mgr. Jan Romeo Pawlowski, delegate for the papal diplomatic Delegations, presided the midnight Mass. During the Mass, a volunteer, Przemyslaw Palka, who will work with the White Fathers in Algeria, received the missionary cross. During the vigil, 15 new members were admitted to the PMU: seven sisters, five seminarians and three lay people. The vigil ended at 4 am in the morning, entrusting the Church's missionary activities in Poland to Our Lady of Jasna Góra. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 15/12/2017)