Tilburg (Agenzia Fides) - The Direction of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) of the Netherlands, in collaboration with the School of Catholic Theology in Tilburg, organized a symposium to recall the important anniversaries experienced last year by the Pontifical Mission Societies (see Fides, 3/5/2022) and above all to relaunch the activity of the PMS in the Netherlands. At the center of the topics discussed was the missionary commitment for the baptized Catholics in parishes. Among those present at this very significant meeting for the local PMS, were the apostolic nuncio in Holland, Archbishop Paul Tschang In-Nam, the president of the Pontifical Mission Societies, Archbishop Emilio Nappa, the Bishop of Rotterdam and president of the bishops' conference, Msgr. Hans van den Hende, and the bishop of 's-Hertogenbosch, Msgr. Gerard de Korte.
Speaking at the symposium, Father Dinh Anh Nhue Nguyen OFMConv, Secretary General of the Pontifical Missionary Union, stressed that Christian conversion is essentially a missionary conversion. In particular, he recalled how fundamental the moment of her conversion was in the life and mission of Blessed Pauline Jaricot, foundress of the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith. Father Anh Nhue Nguyen also quoted Pope Francis' Message for this year's World Mission Day on this theme: "Missionary conversion remains the most important goal that we must set ourselves as individuals and as a community, because missionary openness is the paradigm shift for all activities of the Church".
After him, Prof. Jan Loffeld, Professor of Practical Theology at the Catholic Theological University in Tilburg, spoke about how faith is also an option in a secular society and how urgent such a paradigm shift is. Finally, Ms. Monique van Dijk-Groeneboer, lecturer in religious education at the Catholic Theological College in Tilburg, spoke about young people and the search for meaning. According to the professor, friends, music and nature are often mentioned by young people as the main sources of their search for meaning, while the Christian tradition is usually not mentioned. (EG) (Agenzia Fides, 24/4/2023)