London (Agenzia Fides) – To nourish a missionary spirit: this was the theme of the speech by Father Dinh Anh Nhue Nguyen, OFM Conv, Secretary General of the Pontifical Missionary Union (PMU), Director of Ciam and Agenzia Fides, which opened the work of the National Assembly of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) in the United Kingdom. The Secretary General of PMU opened the three-day event with an afternoon session on missionary spirituality. After an introduction by the English PMS aimed at providing an overview of his work in the context of the local church, Father Nguyen continued his presentation, which began with the episode from the Gospel of Luke on the multiplication of the loaves and fish.
The Gospel episode was taken as a model to introduce the broader theme of a life lived under the sign of mission. Father Nguyen explained the missionary context of the multiplication of the loaves, the "whole" bread offered by Jesus and the mission of the community of believers. Then, inspired by Pope Francis' message for World Mission Day 2022, Father Dinh provided the participants of the English PMS assembly with food for thought. "A more thorough rereading of the whole sheds light on certain aspects that are still current for the mission entrusted by Christ to his disciples: "You will be my witnesses". The plural form underlines the community-ecclesial character of the missionary call of the disciples - said Father Nguyen, quoting the Message of the Holy Father -. Every baptized person is called to mission in the Church and on the mandate of the Church: therefore the mission is done together, not individually, in communion with the ecclesial community and not on one's own initiative".
The Secretary General of PMU went on to underline the Pope's message which speaks of the indissoluble link between the example of Christian life and the proclamation of Christ: "Therefore, the example of Christian life and the proclamation of Christ go together in evangelization. One serves the other. These are the two lungs with which any community must breathe in order to be missionary. This complete, coherent and joyful witness to Christ will certainly be the force of attraction for the growth of the Church also in the third millennium. I therefore urge everyone to rediscover the courage, the frankness, this parrhesia of the first Christians, to bear witness to Christ in word and deed, in all areas of life". Father Nguyen then recalled the charismatic origin of the PMS, as affirmed by Pope Francis in his message, and suggested to those present to be nourished by the Eucharist to cultivate missionary spirituality in daily life. "To nourish and cultivate the missionary spirit, it is fundamental to start from the Eucharist in which three essential dimensions for missionary activity are intrinsically present: to love, to pray and to share". Finally, the Secretary General of the PMU invited those present to deepen the theme by referring to the documents "PMS Charism and actualization 2022 OR Embracing and Employing the PMS Charism (Working Document).
The Assembly then continued with sessions dedicated to the fundraising strategy, its analysis and possible paths to take, and ended yesterday with the conclusions of the the National Director of the English PMS. (EG) (Agenzia Fides, 23/6/2022)