EUROPE/SPAIN - Reflection on the Pontifical Missionary Union at the center of the annual meeting of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Spain

Friday, 26 February 2021 missionary animation   pontifical mission societies

Madrid (Agenzia Fides) - The XVII Meeting of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Spain has begun and this time it is taking place in digital form in view of the health situation. Its reflection relates mainly to one of the four Pontifical Mission Societies: the Pontifical Missionary Union. This annual meeting, organized by the Pontifical Mission Societies and by the Commission for the Missions of the Episcopal Conference, offers a place of encounter and formation to all those who work for local animation and in the national leadership of the PMS. 127 subscribers are participating through the zoom platform in these two days, 25 and 26 February, exchanging experiences.
In recent years this meeting has reviewed in each edition one of the four Pontifical Mission Societies, the Pontifical Missionary Union being the last to be considered. This Society, at the center of this year's meeting, is undoubtedly the most unknown in that it does not have a Day of its own, although it offers essential missionary formation to the people of God and gives impetus to the other three Societies. Pope John Paul II defined it as the "soul" of the PMS.
The meeting began with a moment of prayer and a word of welcome from Msgr. Francisco Pérez, Archbishop of Pamplona and Tudela, President of the Spanish Episcopal Commission for Missions and Cooperation between Churches. Fr. José María Calderón, National Director of the PMS Spain, thanked everyone for the work carried out in this complicated year, because thanks to the work of all the dioceses, missionary campaigns and the planned initiatives could still be carried out, despite the pandemic that began in March 2020.
The opening speech was given by Fr. Fernando García Rodríguez, SX, Superior General of the Xaverian Missionaries, under the title "Francis and the spirit of the PMU". After having examined the Pontifical Magisterium concerning the Pontifical Missionary Union, Fr. Fernando García focused on the Message that Pope Francis addressed to the General Assembly of the PMS last May. The Pope recalled that the protagonist of the mission is the Holy Spirit, and that the mission is born from a heart that loves and has found Christ. At the same time, the Pope indicated the urgency of the renewal of the PMS in order to avoid any temptation to self-referentiality and functionalism.
As was highlighted by the Superior General of the Xaverians, in this message the Pope asked the PMS to go back to their origins and find new and creative ways to develop the charism based on the combination of prayer and cooperation and insert it even more into the fabric of parishes and local churches. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 26/2/2021)