Vatican City (Fides Service) – A successful event which has already borne fruits of communion and will undoubtedly serve to boost the mission of evangelisation: these positive reactions were voiced by Bishops taking part in a Seminar for new Bishops in English-speaking mission territories 8-21 September in Rome organised by the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples.
“In his diocese the Bishop must be a father who cares for his many children, the faithful. But during the Seminar we Bishops became “children” once again and for this we offer warm thanks to the Cardinal Prefect” said Bishop Peter Turang of Kupang diocese in Indonesia recently appointed a Consultor of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples. He added: “This Seminar helped me to deepen in my heart and mind contact and in communion with the universal Church. An experience I had already lived with joy as Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Indonesia before I was appointed bishop. That experience has proved to be a treasure now that I am a bishop, for the work of evangelisation.”
The Bishops of Kazachstan a Muslim country in the heart of Asia, say they approve of the initiative and consider it “a good idea, to be repeated in the future”. Speaking to Fides Service Bishop Henry Hovaniec of Almaty and Archbishop Tomasz of Astana explain: “The Seminar was an opportunity to meet with other Bishops and learn about situations in local Churches around the world. It broadened our vision, in danger of focussing only on our own needs and difficulties. The exchange of experience was useful, a personal, relational and spiritual enrichment, as well as useful suggestions for the task of governing our dioceses”.
Bishop Peter Hla of Taunggyi diocese in Myanmar, voiced gratitude to Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, for organising the Seminar. He told Fides Service “I have few opportunities to come abroad, to come into contact with the universal Church and other local Churches. This was a unique experience and I will treasure it in my heart. The fruits will show in my pastoral work and evangelisation, and putting into practice the indications given by our diocesan Synod”.
New Bishops from African countries also voiced appreciation for the Seminary. Bishop Virgilio Pante of Maralal and Bishop Luigi Paiario of Nyahururu told Fides Service: “The Seminar created an amazing atmosphere of communion and brotherhood among Bishops coming from so many different situations but united in the same mission”. PA/LM (Fides Service 19/9/2003 EM lines 43 Words: 473)