Yamoussoukro (Agenzia Fides) - The Extraordinary Missionary Month was one of the central themes of the 78th National Council of PMS (Pontifical Mission Societies) of the Ivory Coast, which was held from 11 to 14 June at the center of Diocesan reception center in Daloa under the presidency of His Excellency Mgr. Marcellin Yao Kouadio, Bishop of Daloa, President of the Bishops’ Commission for the Evangelization of Peoples and PMS, in the presence of 13 of the 15 diocesan directors.
In the opening speech, Fr. Jean Noel Gossou, the new National Director of the PMS of the Ivory Coast, focused on the importance of the Extraordinary Missionary Month according to the indications of Pope Francis contained in the guide of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and of the Pontifical Mission Societies, with the title "baptized and sent, the Church of Christ on a mission in the World, extraordinary missionary Month, October 2019".
Fr. Gossou acknowledged that mission is not an easy task and should therefore require everyone's attention. In turn, Mgr. Kouadio briefed the diocesan directors on the importance of the PMS as a tool for missionary animation and for raising funds to support the mission.
The Bishop of Daloa described the missionary situation in the Country after the departure of the first white missionaries and highlighted the challenges and problems the Church in Ivory Coast will face, and took the opportunity to clarify the difference between mission and pastoral care. Mgr. Kouadio in fact emphasized that pastoral care, which is reserved for the faithful, must be accompanied by the mission of moving towards non-Christians.
Following the agenda for the 2019-2020 campaign, the Council used the Guide of the extraordinary missionary month to develop an action plan to reawaken the missionary awareness of each baptized person.
Finally, for the 2019-2020 missionary campaign, the Council recommended: the organization of a national opening ceremony of the Extraordinary Missionary Month on 5 and 6 October 2019 in Yamoussoukro; the organization of an opening ceremony in each diocese; the participation of priests, catechists and leaders of the New Communities for the official launch; the development of strategies in every diocese for the awakening of the conscience of the faithful on the missionary theme of the year. (S.S.) (Agenzia Fides, 24/6/2019)