AMERICA/VENEZUELA - Missionaries prepared to face today's challenges: the PMS Missionary Formation Center inaugurated

Saturday, 31 July 2021 pontifical mission societies   missionary animation   local churches  

Caracas (Agenzia Fides) - Promote and foster paths of permanent formation, missionary updating and accompaniment of pastoral workers and all the people of God: this is the objective of the new Missionary Formation Center, presented these days by the Pontifical Mission Societies this is the goal of the new (PMS) of Venezuela, through social media. With this project, it is said in the note sent to Fides, we want to "promote co-responsibility in proclaiming the Gospel", through the training of evangelization agents, as well as establishing a dialogue "with existential and socio-cultural peripheries" and to promote the preparation of missionaries to face the challenges of the present time. In a video message, Cardinal Baltazar Porras, Archbishop of Mérida and Apostolic Administrator of Caracas, expressed his joy at this initiative, which in his opinion will reinforce the missionary attitude of Catholics in Venezuela. "The first thing there should be is an outgoing attitude", the Cardinal said. The Deputy Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and President of the Pontifical Mission Societies, Archbishop Giovanni Pietro Dal Toso, then stressed that for the PMS "formation is a very important issue", and missionary formation is also missionary conversion. "The whole Church must go through missionary conversion. The Church is missionary by nature, to evangelize, she is sent by Jesus Christ to reach every man with the Gospel. In this same Church, everything serves to evangelize - said Monsignor Dal Toso -. Mission is not just sharing concepts, it is sharing the life we have received from God". Fr. Ricardo Guillén, National Director of the PMS of Venezuela, illustrated what the Missionary Formation Center consists of, underlining that it is a service to the Venezuelan Catholic Church, "which encourages, prepares and accompanies the formation in the spirit and missionary practice of individuals, groups and Christian communities", with a methodology of "interactive and experiential participation".
There are three modalities: face-to-face, virtual and b-learning. The theme chosen is "Forging disciples for a Church without borders", to encourage Catholics to deepen their understanding of the missionary call of the Church. The National Director of the PMS also explained that the formation itinerary will have four levels: initial missionary formation; advanced missionary formation; missionary updating and formative itineraries of the PMS missionary animation services. All will include four dimensions: theology, spirituality, methodology and synodality. "The formative process forms the mind, heart, will and attitudes of conversion necessary to be part of the outgoing Church", he reiterated. Monsignor Jonny Reyes, Apostolic Vicar of Puerto Ayacucho, expressed his joy for this initiative and stressed that "the pedagogy of the Gospel is simple but effective, and is lived in mission lands. It is a step by step pedagogy, in synodality, but it bears fruit". During the presentation of the Missionary Formation Center, a hymn to the Virgin Mary was shared, performed by the young people of the parish of Santa María de Manje (Diocese of Tete, Mozambique) in the ChiChewa language, while the final prayer was the Our Father in the Pemón language, recited by the girls of the house of Santa Elena de Uairén, in the Apostolic Vicariate of Caroni. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 31/7/2021)