Warsaw (Agenzia Fides) - For some years the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) in Poland have begun to organize retreats for lay catechists in various dioceses in the country. The specificity of Poland, informs the note sent to Agenzia Fides by the National Direction of the PMS, is that religion classes are to be held in schools, in the style of catechesis. Religious teachers are therefore called "catechists" and are not only teachers of the subject, but above all witnesses of Jesus Christ, sent to the school on the basis of a special mission entrusted to them by the diocesan Bishop.
Every catechist is therefore required to take care of her/his ongoing formation, which also includes three-day retreats once a year. Three years ago, the first diocese asked the PMS to lead the retreat and since then the PMS have been present in the all the dioceses of Poland. During these retreats, the catechists are made aware of their mission, of their special call and of being missionaries who proclaim the Word. During the group work the structure of the PMS and the various activities is presented, encouraging cooperation in the missionary work of the Church.
This year the PMS were present at numerous catechist meetings before the start of the new school year, in the last days of August. On all occasions the theme of their missionary calling and special mission as "baptized and sent" witnesses of Jesus Christ was recalled. The PMS and the objectives of the Extraordinary Missionary Month were made known.
The permanent formation of lay catechists is part of the statutory commitments of the PMS and through religion teachers an enormous number of children and young people can be reached. This is particularly important now, in view of the Extraordinary Missionary Month. Each year the number of teachers and catechists who carry out PMS projects increases in Poland. (MJ/SL) (Agenzia Fides, 11/9/2019)