The Secretary General of PMU in Lyon for the first formation meeting for diocesan delegates organized by the French PMS

17 November 2023

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A formation meeting for a group of diocesan delegates organized by the National Direction of the French Pontifical Missionary Societies (PMS) was held in Lyon on Thursday 16 and Friday 17 November at the Maison de Lorette, the birthplace of Blessed Pauline Jaricot, foundress of the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith. Rev. Father Dinh Anh Nhue Nguyen, OFM Conv, Secretary General of the Pontifical Missionary Union (PMU), brought his contribution to these "two days" of very intense formation and sharing.  The Pope's message to the PMS during the last Assembly was the incipit of the PMU Secretary General's reflection. In the first part of the day, he analyzed the text together with the participants in order to deepen the theme of the charism and vocation of the PMS at the service of the Pope and the local Bishops.

Father Nguyen therefore analyzed the message in depth, emphasizing in particular some passages of the Holy Father's words: "The PMS, therefore, are not a mere agency for the distribution of funds for those in need of help, but a reality called to support the "mission of evangelization in the Church, both universal and local and to foster the missionary spirit among the People of God". (Message for World Mission Day 2022, 3). I urge you, therefore, to intensify even more, with the boldness and creativity of the Holy Spirit, the various activities of animation, information and formation of the missionary spirit. I invite you to promote the missionary responsibility of the baptized, making the most of the capillary network of national directions, both in the Countries of first evangelization and in those of ancient Christian tradition, which perhaps need another first evangelization; these, we know, are marked by a serious crisis of faith and are in need of renewed evangelization and pastoral conversion".

Instead, in the second part of the day, space was given to this year's World Mission Day Message with a look towards next year; the Pope's thoughts on this message were retraced, which should also be read as a natural continuation of last year's message. The context in which it originated, the synodal context, the Pope's personal tone, and the two pillars of the renewed missionary spirituality to be promoted: the Word of God and the Eucharist, were also highlighted. The last day was dedicated to concrete suggestions for the renewal of missionary animation and formation activities. Among the suggestions for the year to come is to support specific animation and formation on the Pope's Message for World Mission Day, starting immediately after its publication in January and continuing until October. PMU, in this sense, will continue its missionary animation work on the Pope's World Mission Day Message by organizing webinars dedicated to this objective in different languages.