Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - "We are happy to welcome Mgr. Dal Toso as a sign of communion with the universal Church", says Fr. George Olusegun Ajana, National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) of Nigeria, where the National Mission Congress of Nigeria opened on 22 October with the theme "The Church of Christ in Mission in Nigeria".
His Exc. Mgr. Giampietro Dal Toso, Assistant Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and President of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS), in addition to meeting the delegates at the Congress, will hold a meeting with all Nigerian Bishops tomorrow evening, October 25th and will then celebrate the conclusions of the Congress on Saturday 26 October.
"The National Missionary Congress is a very important event for the Church in Nigeria, which is repeated every four years, and missionary activities to be carried out in our country are decided", explains Fr. George. The theme chosen for the Congress "The Church of Christ in Mission in Nigeria" takes up the theme of the universal Church "The Church of Christ on mission in the world".
The PMS National Director explains that "the Church in Nigeria must cope with forms of persecution resulting from violence committed by Islamic extremists such as those belonging to Boko Haram. Many Christians, especially Catholics, are killed for the simple reason that they are Christians. But even in the midst of these persecutions we remain steadfast in our faith, without giving in to compromises".
"The Missionary Congress can give a strong contribution to making Catholics persecuted feel that they are not alone", said Fr. Georg. "Catholics from all over Nigeria participate in the Congress and this is very encouraging because it demonstrates the unity of the Nigerian Church. The persecuted faithful feel that they are not isolated, they are not alone but they are part of a community that welcomes them, protects them and helps them spiritually and materially". "In this sense, the visit of Mgr. Dal Toso reinforces this feeling, widening the embrace from the Nigerian Church to the universal Church".
"The Holy Father has sent Archbishop Dal Toso as his personal delegate to our Congress. This comforts us because it makes us feel the embrace and support of the universal Church. We are not alone. We are happy to welcome Mgr. Dal Toso as a sign of communion with the universal Church which reminds us that we exist and wants to be in communion with us", concludes the National Director of the PMS. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 24/10/2019)