“Church’s Mission: Missionary Charity and Fundraising” was the main theme discussed during the online formation course for the Spanish-speaking National Directions of the PMS. The course was organized by PMS, Pontifical Missionary Union (PMU) and CIAM, in collaboration with the PMS National Direction in Spain. There were 97 participants, connected from 18 different countries around the world.
The course began with a speech by the President of the PMS, Archbishop Giampietro Dal Toso, who reminded the importance of the PMS identity as a prerequisite for a proper communication and a correct vision of fundraising. He then focused on the PMS nature and their mission, summarizing their charism in three points: faith, mission and universality. The Archbishop indicated prayer, offering/sacrifice and formation as the three ways of living the PMS charism.
Then followed the presentation, prepared by the PMS National Direction in Colombia offered by Fr. Javier Alexis Gil Henao, National Director and by Mrs. Viviana López, Head of communication “Contextualizar la Misión de la Iglesia: comunicación y caridad misionera” (Contextualizing Church’s Mission: Communication and Missionary Charity). The talk was divided in two parts. The first part focused on pastoral aspects and dealt with the theme of mission and missionary charity; the second one, instead, was dedicated to communication and its potential to provide us with tools to share the missionary message.
On the second day, there were two speeches dealing directly with the theme of fundraising which was the course focus, one from the theoretical point of view offered by Prof. Cristian Mendoza, Pontifical University of the Holy Cross (Rome, Italy), and another from the practical viewpoint, presented by Dr. Juan Uribe Arbeláez, President of the Instituto de Fundraising Católico (Madrid, Spain).
The professor Cristian Mendoza explained the conceptual leap from fundraising to faithraising, and indicated a new approach to fundraising, summarized in the verb “to give” rather than “to ask”.
Juan Uribe dealt with the theme “Fundraising católico: el nuevo reto para la Iglesia” (Catholic Fundraising: New Challenge for the Church) by analyzing the fundamental principles of fundraising setting them in the Catholic world, and providing concrete examples and suggestions.
"Marketing religioso y fundraising: claves para una comunicación eficaz" (Religious Marketing and Fundraising: Key Points for an Effective Communication) was the theme of the lecture of the university professor Carlos Luna Calvo, director of the RE-Inspira International Conference on Religious Marketing (Madrid, Spain) on the last day of the course.
Prof. Luna Calvo explained the possibilities offered by marketing in the field of evangelization and presented some strategies to be implemented to achieve effective communication in fundraising.
Next, Fr. José María Calderón, PMS national director in Spain, reiterated that PMS are not an NGO, but are part of the Church, outlining the peculiarities of their reality in Spain in the field of fundraising and communication. At the end, Fr. Fabrizio Meroni, the then PUM Secretary General, made some reflections on the rediscovery of the unique charism of the Pontifical Mission Societies.