Karachi (Agenzia Fides) - "The extraordinary missionary month will be a new wave of evangelization in the Church in Pakistan and will be a time to reach those who are far from the Church. In Pakistan, we have planned to involve people of all ages and states of life in this special Month for the Mission, including young people and children": this is what Bishop Samson Shukardin of the diocese of Hyderabad and president of the episcopal commission that oversees the Pontifical Mission Societies in Pakistan said, speaking of the preparation of the extraordinary missionary Month of October 2019 in Pakistan. The Bishop also said: "The Church in Pakistan actively follows Pope Francis: this Month will help us once again to learn about our mission, to deepen and understand our missionary vocation as baptized".
The celebration of the extraordinary missionary Month in Pakistan will focus much on the young. "We young people are entrusted with the proclamation of the Gospel. Strengthened by the grace of the Sacraments, we will actively respond to Pope Francis’ appeal", says to Agenzia Fides Ayyaz Gulzar, national coordinator of "Jesus Youth Pakistan", a Catholic secular association approved by the Holy See.
On 30 March, the youth movement organized a meeting at the Karachi Catechetical Center to raise awareness and inform about the Extraordinary Missionary Month, announced by Pope Francis for October 2019, on the theme "Baptized and sent: the Church of Christ on mission in the world" .
"Let us not forget that every baptized person is a missionary. Prayer, reflection and action are important ways to have a real encounter with Jesus Christ", notes Gulzar. The Jesus Youth Pakistan movement states: "It is time to prepare for the Extraordinary Missionary Month. We encourage everyone to start preparing it, to talk with family members, friends and to contact other faithful to make this special month dedicated to the mission meaningful".
Pope Francis announced the Extraordinary Missionary Month to celebrate the 100th anniversary of "Maximum Illud" the apostolic letter of Pope Benedict XV on mission, written on November 30, 1919. The Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and the Pontifical Mission Societies have published a "Guide" that offers guidelines for the celebration of the Month. Ayyaz Gulzar told those present: "The Church is missionary by nature. In the extraordinary month dedicated to the mission, we are called to live our faith with conviction and joy, to convert our hearts and minds, to be missionary disciples". God’s love urges us to go into the world to announce the crucified and risen Christ". Gulzar illustrated the three parts of the Guide, focusing on the testimonies of the saints and martyrs who are "models and intercessors in the faith and of the mission".
Atif Sharif, a member of Jesus Youth in Pakistan, speaking to Fides says: "This Month will be very useful: thanks to the Eucharist and the life of the saints it will be a time to deepen our faith and to live our mission in this world". (AG) (Agenzia Fides, 2/4/2019)