Bujumbura (Agenzia Fides) – To raise awareness of the needs of the mission; find new ways and strategies for missionary evangelization in Burundi and in the world; to study together how to support the Pontifical Mission Societies not only spiritually but also materially. These were the objectives of the Missionary Congress organized by the National Direction of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Burundi (PMS), held from September 23 to 28 at the Grand Seminary John Paul II of Gitega.
The Missionary Congress is in line with the centenary celebration of the Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud of Pope Benedict XV (published on November 30, 1919), which inspired Pope Francis to announce the Extraordinary Missionary Month of October 2019.
The Conference of Catholic Bishops of Burundi (CECAB) has decided to extend the event for another two months to have enough time to celebrate this great, important event for the Church in Burundi.
Starting from the general theme of the Congress: "Baptized and sent, the Church of Christ on mission in Burundi and in the world", during the Congress various themes related to the mission were developed (Christian anthropology at the service of universal fraternity, the great challenges of evangelization in Burundi, the missionary Church for the promotion of leadership, inculturation in at the service of in-depth evangelization, how to increase awareness of mission in the Church, family, the media at the service of the evangelizing mission of the Church, the PMS as an operating arm of the Ad gentes mission). Ample space was given to testimonies of missionary experiences, as well as spiritual activities such as the prayer of the missionary rosary, missionary adoration, missionary vigil, etc.
About 120 Burundian delegates (Bishops, priests, religious, laity) and delegations from neighboring countries such as Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo took part in the Congress.
We recall that the message of the Bishops of Burundi for the Extraordinary Missionary Month was read in all the Catholic Churches of Burundi on Sunday 29 September (see Fides, 1/10/2019). (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 5/10/2019)