Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - "I was very happy to receive the news that the Holy Father established a special Covid-19 emergency fund for the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS). Pope Francis has a deeply missionary heart and a special concern for those who suffer. This is what Father Tadeusz J. Nowak, OMI, Secretary General of the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith (POPF) said in an interview with Agenzia Fides. "The Pontifical Mission Societies – he continues - were established to promote and support the mission of the Church though prayer, animation and sacrifice. It must be remembered that the PMS is a worldwide network of prayer and charity at the service of the Holy Father in his solicitude for the Church’s missionary endeavours and for Young Churches in mission lands. Therefore, an emergency crisis that affects the Church in mission lands is always a concern for the Pontifical Mission Societies".
How can this Fund be useful for the specific needs followed by POPF?
"The Pontifical Mission Society for the Propagation of the Faith (POPF) assists the Church in mission lands with projects directed towards direct evangelization, the celebration of the sacraments, catechesis, etc. This is why the emergency fund was established specifically to secure ecclesiastical structures and missionary endeavours threatened by the pandemic. Thus, it is destined for ensuring that essential ecclesiastical structures are supported during the crisis. So far, Bishops of many Dioceses have requested funds for many different needs provoked by the pandemic. These include help for clergy, catechists and other pastoral agents without support even for basic necessities because of the pandemic; funds to ensure the transmission of the celebration of the Mass (and other evangelizing programs) to countless families in quarantine through different media platforms; and other initiatives that involve the ecclesiastical structures of the local Church".
In your opinion, how is the assistance in the various continents proceeding with regards to the projects already started with that Fund?
"So far, we have been able to respond positively to all of the requests that we have received. Furthermore, I must express my great joy and gratitude to the many National Directors of the PMS who have worked zealously to encourage people of good will in their respective countries to pray for all those affected by the pandemic and to donate their offerings to the Emergency Fund.
Therefore, in this "special" time, the relationship between charity and evangelization is strengthened ...
"The heart of the Gospel is love. Jesus teaches us that the greatest commandment is to love God with all one’s heart, mind, and soul and to love one’s neighbour as oneself. The 25th chapter of Matthew’s Gospel tells us that Jesus identifies personally with the poor. Therefore the proclamation of the Gospel must always be accompanied by works of mercy for its authenticity. In this special time of world crisis, the link between evangelization and charity is, therefore, fundamental. Happily, the central charism of the PMS is prayer and charity at the service of the Church’s mission. This is the legacy that our beloved foundress Pauline Marie Jaricot left the Church. We are overjoyed that the day of her beatification is on the horizon".
(Agenzia Fides, 4/6/2020)