THE STRUCTURE OF THE PONTIFICAL MISSION SOCIETIES
The Supreme Committee
The Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) in their service aimed at promoting and animating the Missionary Spirit among all the Churches, are organized in the following way: they are headed by a Supreme Committee, which on the mandate of the Holy Father is supervised, as President, by His Eminence Cardinal Antonio Tagle, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, (CEP), who, in this task of service to the Universal Church, is assisted by Msgr. Protase Rugambwa, Secretary of CEP and by Msgr. Giovanni Pietro Dal Toso, Adjunct Secretary of CEP and President of the PMS. In carrying out this mandate on a daily basis, the Supreme Committee is assisted by the General Secretaries of the four Societies, by the person in charge of the Administration, and by five representatives of each continent of the National Directions. Its primary task is to coordinate and regulate the spiritual and material cooperation of the proclamation and witness of the Gospel, throughout the world, with a missionary witness.
The Superior Council
The PMS have their own autonomous organization, led by a Superior Council, which meets every year in Rome. The purpose of this Council is to take into consideration the requests for support that arrive from all over the world regarding the different needs of the young Churches. The funds raised by the faithful of the five continents, in particular during World Mission Sunday, on the third Sunday of October, are distributed in order to offer each local Church adequate aid for their evangelization needs.
This annual meeting brings together the National Directors of the PMS from 130 countries, under the guidance of the President of the PMS, Msgr. Giovanni Pietro Dal Toso and the participation of Cardinal Antonio Tagle, Prefect of CEP.
The Council examines and approves the projects presented annually by the Churches of the so-called "mission" countries.
The Executive Committee
The President of the PMS and the General Secretaries form an Executive Committee which meets at least every two months to discuss the work done, to coordinate activities and to work together in promoting the missionary work of the Church.
The General Secretaries are committed to getting to know and visiting the nations pertaining to CEP, to evaluate the missionary activity of their respective Societies. The Executive Committee operates according to its "Internal Regulations" and is assisted in its work by the person in charge of the Administration.
The International Secretariats
Each of the four Societies has an International Secretariat, headed by a General Secretary appointed for a-five-year period by CEP. The International Secretariats are available for consultation and advice on the administration and development of the Societies in each Nation.
The General Secretaries, together with their collaborators, examine the projects sent by the Bishops and make the National Directors aware of the contents of pastoral and economic activity, regarding the distribution of the Fund of each society. This work is then presented in an annual pastoral and financial report to the Superior Council Assembly, supported, for the financial aspect, by the person in charge of the Administration.
The National Directions
From a structural point of view, the Pontifical Mission Societies are both universal and local. The local dimension is manifested in the activity of the national directions which in turn support the work of the diocesan person in charge. Can. 791 of the Code of Canon Law provides that in each diocese "a priest should be appointed to effectively promote initiatives in favor of missions, especially the Pontifical Mission Societies". The great task of the PMS is to raise awareness of mission, which - in the wake of all the teaching of the Popes and the Council - is a task of the whole People of God.