AFRICA/DR CONGO - General Secretary of the Holy Childhood: promoting missionary spirituality among children and young people

Saturday, 6 July 2019 evangelization   extraordinary missionary month   missionary animation   missionary childhood  

Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - "The Church in the Democratic Republic of Congo is alive, lively and present at every level, and shows particular attention in the human and Christian education of children and young people". This is what Sister Roberta Tremarelli, Secretary General of the Pontifical Society of the holy Childhood, says to Agenzia Fides at the conclusion of a visit in the Democratic Republic of Congo, carried out in recent days.
The visit was organized in agreement with the National Director of the PMS, Fr. Godefroid Manunga SVD, to propose formation sessions for the diocesan Directors of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS), for the animators of the Holy Childhood and for those involved in the education of children.
"The extension of the country - highlights Sister Roberta - made it impossible to organize a single national meeting or a meeting for each of the six ecclesiastical provinces. For this reason, in accordance with the Bishop’s Conference, open formation sessions were held, with the presence of representatives also from various ecclesiastical provinces".
"In every meeting - continues the general Secretary - the need and urgency of quality education was raised not only for the PMS animators. There was talk of the need for a joint pastoral care to present children and adolescents with proposals that allow faith and life integration, involving families and schools, as well as existing parish groups".
"The purpose of the Pontifical Society of the Holy Childhood in Congo - explains Sister Tremarelli - is not to create Holy Childhood groups, in addition to the many already existing at a parish level, but to promote a missionary spirituality in each group. Through the proposal of missionary activities and contents, the aim is to grow in faith and in spiritual and material sharing, with the celebration of Missionary Childhood Day as the culmination of every annual activity. This is an opportunity for each group to experience the life and faith of the Church and its universal dimension, overcoming the individual dimension".
The meetings also revealed the important role of Catholic schools in missionary formation and cooperation, as well as the participation of consecrated men and women in the proposals of the PMS National Directions. Sister Roberta adds: "In various ways the relationship between the particular Church and the universal Church, starting from prayer, the first missionary action, in order to reach material cooperation, was emphasized. Each session gave the opportunity to each diocesan representative to present the reality of the Holy Childhood and thus allow the sharing of experiences and proposals, which fueled the desire to work together at a national level. Everyone wants to deepen the meaning and the content of the PMS to better propose them at the level of the local Church". Finally, the General Secretary concludes, "with regard to the next Extraordinary Missionary Month, the Bishop’s Conference is developing a program to involve all the baptized". (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 6/7/2019)