Rome (Agenzia Fides) - When it comes to working for the Missio ad gentes, it does not matter where you live geographically, but it requires passion for the Kingdom of God, walking on earth with heaven in the heart, to look far and widen the horizons of the heart to the world.
"Going beyond known borders to meet new peoples and cultures was characteristic of the style of the first communities of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, eager to bring the most surprising and shocking announcement to the world: the tenderness of God's love", said Sister Ruth del Pilar Mora, General Councilor of the Missions of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (FMA), at the opening of the recent meeting with representatives of the Missionary Sisters in Europe. "Since then began a story that is still being written today by many Daughters of Mary Help of Christians in 98 countries around the world. Our first sisters who left Italy went to places at the ends of the world. Thanks to the generous willingness of so many of our sisters, all continents have been embraced by our charism", writes Sister Ruth. The seed has been sown and now many sisters are responding with the same willingness to be active as missionaries ad gentes in Europe".
Western countries, once a reservoir of vocations and rich in donors for missionary cooperation, are now experiencing unexpected social and cultural changes, against the background of which the Christian faith must also be rethought and offered in new forms. "To revitalize the missionary passion, to reflect on the importance of our presence, our witness here in Europe on this 150th anniversary of the founding of our Institute" was the intention of the General Council for the meeting.
On this occasion, the group of Missionary Sisters from eight European Provinces had the opportunity to get to know the International Secretariats of the Pontifical Mission Societies, as well as the Migrantes Foundation and the Missio Foundation of the Italian Bishops' Conference, in order to promote involvement in the Church's missionary networks and the phenomenon of migration with scientific data and a pastoral approach in a changing Europe.
The meeting with the theme 'Being missionaries ad gentes in a changing Europe', began at the Generalate of the Daughters of Saint Mary Help of Christians in Rome on 14 November, the date on which the 145th anniversary of the first missionary sending of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, and concluded on November 18th. (Agenzia Fides, 23/11/2022)