October Missionary 2021: Pontifical Mission Societies of America

20 September 2021

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In support of the missionary animation campaign for the month of October 2021, the national Directions of the Pontifical Mission Societies of America have provided a text containing training material, prayer and liturgical animation schemes, themes for reflection with the aim of cooperating in the animation of the Missionary Month, as explained in the introduction by the continental coordinator of PMS America Fr. Leonardo Rodriguez, director of PMS Uruguay. 

The text, which opens with the Holy Father's message for World Mission Sunday, whose title, “We cannot be silent about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4.20), offers, by Fr. Ricardo Guillén Dávila, national director of the PMS of Venezuela, biblical and theological insights on the text of Acts 4,1-22, background and inspiration for the message relating to the 2021 Missionary Month, and on the Pope's message. 

The document includes proposals for missionary animation, each formulated on the basis of the recipients: bishops, priests, the elderly and the sick, missionary groups, children and adolescents, young people, families. 

Some reflections are offered to the bishops, by his Exc. Mgr. Waldo Barrionuevo, CSsR, Apostolic Vicar of Reyes, national director of PMS Bolivia, in reference to the co-responsibility of the Episcopal College and to the service of the Pontifical Mission Societies in the particular Churches. 

The reflections for priests, by Fr. Yoland Ouellet, OMI, French-speaking Director of PMS Canada, illustrate Pope Francis' thought on the witness to which priests are called, also with the aid of specific references to the texts of the Holy Father's magisterium. They are divided in: the mission of all; the joy of being priests; how can we silence the joy we have discovered; to announce to everyone; the priest with his joy announces the Good News; remain in Christ; ordained to be good shepherds; be authentic witnesses; closeness. 

A further section, by the National Direction of PMS of Mexico, consists of contributions for the sick and the elderly with the aim of reaffirming the missionary commitment in the witness lived from old age and illness, because, starting from the recognition and from following Jesus, we respond to people who need to experience divine forgiveness and mercy by listening to their concerns and talking to them about the unconditional love that the Father has for them. 

The contributions for missionary groups, by the National Commission of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith - PMS Argentina - constitute a further section: “As missionary groups we have the task of being active agents of the New Evangelization both in our community of origin (so necessary in this time of pandemic where we see so many needs in different aspects of people's lives), and also as a First Evangelization in other communities, more remote, poorer”. 

The contributions for children and adolescents, “so that every child and adolescent can become aware of the importance of bearing witness to Jesus Christ” are by the national direction of the PMS Ecuador. 

The contributions for young people, made to “revive the missionary spirit in them as they are called to bring to others the good news of what they have seen and heard and to be redeemed by the love of Christ which challenges us today to a path of transformation towards our peoples”, are by the National Direction of the PMS Honduras. 

The contributions for the family, by the PMS National Direction of Costa Rica with the help of Fr. Ronny Solano S., executive secretary of the National Commission of the Family and Life of the Bishops' Conference of Costa Rica, represent a large part of the text, given that “Every family that has had a true encounter with Christ and has responded with joy to his call must say: what we have seen and heard, we cannot be silent (cf. Acts 4:20). When the family, like every Christian, is evangelized, it becomes a subject of evangelization. It is also up to the family to be a missionary disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ”. On the basis of this consideration, the division of the tasks of the family, the domestic Church, into two moments of mission is proposed: the family in mission to be evangelized and the family in mission that evangelizes. 

The text is available in Spanish, English and Portuguese.