Rome (Agenzia Fides) - "We are working together "to better show the universal face of the Church", said Archbishop Emilio Nappa in his address to the one hundred and eleven newly appointed bishops from the mission areas who gathered in Rome to take part in the formation Seminar organized for them by the Dicastery for Evangelization.
The course, which started on Monday September 4th, will end on September 13th and will take place at the Pontifical “Collegio San Paolo Apostolo”. "Everything that is part of the Dicastery for Evangelisation, including the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS), Archbishop Nappa underlined in his address to the bishops who have come from the five continents, "represents a 'unique' reaching out to you, that is aimed at the Churches under your jurisdiction". The proclamation of the Gospel - he added - "belongs to every baptized person, we are priests, kings and prophets. Mission is the task of all of us, from the baptized to the Pope. We are heralds of the work of salvation brought by Jesus Christ. We are priests not only to celebrate, but above all to proclaim, because faith comes from listening".
The Archbishop, who is both President of the Pontifical Mission Societies, as well as Adjunct Secretary of the Dicastery for Evangelization, explained the origins and organizational chart of the Pontifical Mission Societies and the specifics of each one.
"The Pontifical Mission Societies are the operative arm of the Dicastery for Evangelization, which deals with all Churches, from their foundation to their development, accompanying them in a concrete way. They are a concrete realization not only in economic terms, but also in spiritual and constructive terms".
"They are not just a safe, a well from which money can be drawn," stressed Archbishop Nappa, echoing the words that Pope Francis addressed to the National Directors of the Pontifical Mission Societies during the meeting held on June 3, 2023 in the Vatican (see Fides, 3/6 /2023) - but they are also the spiritual link to everything that happens in mission countries". "As bishops of the mission areas, you are not only the ones being cared for, you are also the actors in the continuation of the missionary work. You have the primary responsibility for the mission itself, you are not just recipients, those who wait for Rome to provide, but you are the engines that help Rome spread the mission. Mission is evangelization".
Archbishop Nappa pointed out in his speech that missionary formation must also take into account the new needs of the current historical moment. "We are witnessing a very rapid change, which the Holy Father describes as an 'acceleration' of loss both in faith and in the contribution of faith. We are therefore called to spiritual creativity and for this we must enter into dialogue, confront one another and recognize ourselves as a single body". After that, the respective profile and vocation of the four mission societies were explained by their General Secretaries: Sister Roberta Tremarelli, AMSS, General Secretary of the Pontifical Society of Missionary Childhood, Father Tadeusz Nowak, OMI, Secretary General of the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith, Father Guy Bognon (PSS), Secretary General of the Pontifical Society of St. Peter Apostle and Father Dinh Anh Nhue Nguyen (OFM Conv.) Secretary General of the Pontifical Missionary Union. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 5/9/2023)