Abidjan (Agenzia Fides) - "We read with great joy and enthusiasm the Holy Father's message to the Pontifical Mission Societies, which motivates and strengthens us and provides us with guidance for the work we are doing in the context of the Pontifical Mission Societies", said Fr. Jean Noel Gossou, National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies of Ivory Coast, with regards to the Pope Francis’ Message published on Sunday May 21st, feast of the Ascension of the Lord.
Pope Francis, as usual, meets the PMS during their annual General Assembly in Rome. This year, however, due to the health crisis caused by Covid-19, the meeting could not be held and the Pope wanted to deliver this message to them, in which he explains that the mission is a free gift of the Spirit, and warned against the pitfalls that can prevent missionary activities.
The PMS Director in Ivory Coast highlights three aspects of the Pope's message: "Attractiveness, Gratuitousness and humility".
"First of all, the Pope speaks of a mission that is not ours, that belongs to God. He also speaks of gratitude and gratuitousness that push us to project ourselves in the missionary commitment. Finally, the Pope evokes a concrete closeness in the mission, and this closeness asks us to go to the heart of man's existential need, and therefore to have a preference for the little and the poor", says Fr Gossou.
Regarding the pitfalls to be avoided in missionary work and which the Holy Father warns in his message, the National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Ivory Coast wants to "put the Pope's recommendations into practice when it comes to bureaucratic work to avoid and take into account all of the pastoral realities of our Country, starting from children in their movement, in their expression of faith, to young people, teenagers and adults, so that the Pontifical Mission Societies in Ivory Coast can highlight and implement the recommendations of Pope Francis". (S.S.) (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 1/6/2020)