There is a need to see missionary families, testimonies of a possible love, that has flourished for free, even in social contexts dominated by individualism and consumerism. This is the urgency recalled in the message that Archbishop Giampietro Dal Toso, Assistant Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and President of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS), launched from the Austrian abbey of Heiligenkreuz. The closing ceremony of the celebrations organized by the Direction of the Austrian PMS (Missio Austria) took place there last week on the occasion of the anniversaries of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and the Pontifical Mission Societies.
The initiative, carried out in collaboration with the Benedict XVI Philosophical-Theological University, highlighted the figure and work of the foundress of the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith, Blessed Paulina Jaricot, through the interventions that followed. "Being missionaries today means walking everywhere on the path of Christ and bearing witness to the Good News of Christ with one's personal life. Of course, the mission also includes failure and suffering", underlined Archbishop Dal Toso, who on the same day took part in another celebratory event during which the award ceremony of the "Austria.On Mission Award" was held. This award, now in its third edition, was created with the aim of enhancing the hidden work of all those Austrian missionaries who "are committed to justice and dignity throughout the world and offer their lives" recalled the director of Missio Austria, Peter Karl Wellner. The Austrian Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen also praised the precious work of the missionaries and Missio Austria during the event.
"In the course of history, Propaganda Fide and the PMS are the institutions that have had the most influence respectively in the 400 years for Propaganda Fide and in the 200 years for the PMS in the missionary world" - recalled Archbishop Dal Toso, who then concluded: "I am very grateful to the Austrian Catholics for their support for mission all over the world, in particular for their support for vocations to the priesthood with scholarships for the formation of seminarians".