Lima (Fides Service ) – “With Mary open your heart to Christ’s Mission” was the slogan chosen for World Mission Sunday 2003 by the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) in Peru in collaboration with the Peruvian Catholic Bishops’ Conference. Commenting the theme National PMS Director Father Gianfranco Iacopi says that Pope John Paul II encourages us to live Mission Sunday at the school of Mary “he asks all of us to follow her example to increase the contemplative and missionary dimension of our lives”. “John Paul II , the missionary Pope – Father Iacopi says - is a great missionary of the last and the present century. With his apostolic journeys he has put missionary fire in the heart of the baptised, telling everyone that mission must be a passion for every Christian. ”.
In preparation for Mission Sunday 2003 activities of animation were organised by youth groups and parish delegates, involving 900 schools in Lima, church run and state run. To coordinate the work of animation the PMS National Office prepared material including posters, handbooks, guides for Mass on Mission Sunday and animation material.
From 16 to 18 October some 42,000 school children and students take public collections all over the country. A Bishops’ Conference press statement sent to Fides Service reads: “These collections will go to support the missionary Church which helps millions of men women and children living in extreme poverty and dire need.” Main national celebrations for Mission Sunday on October 19 are held in Lima, at the Chinese Vicaria parish. Among the participants numerous young members of “Youth without Frontiers” group and delegations of other parishes (R. Z.) (Fides Service 18/10/2003 EM lines 23 Words: 287).