EUROPE/HUNGARY - European Meeting of National Directors of the Pontifical Mission Societies: “The proclamation of the Gospel constitutes the Church”

Wednesday, 7 February 2024 pontifical mission societies   evangelization  

Budapest (Agenzia Fides) - Mission and concrete synodality for a new proclamation of the Gospel on the European continent, said the President of the Pontifical Mission Societies, Archbishop Emilio Nappa, on Tuesday February 6, at the opening of the second working day of the meeting of European National Directors of the Pontifical Mission Societies, which is currently taking place in Budapest. The meeting, which began on Monday with the Eucharistic celebration and a general introduction, is held in a different country every year. The aim is to share experiences and "learn from each other and support each other in our common mission to promote the missionary spirit across Europe," said Father Antony Chantry, National Director of the PMS of England and Wales and Coordinator for Europe.
The meeting, organized by the Hungarian National Direction under the leadership of Father Remis Tete, ends on Friday and will be attended by representatives of the Pontifical Mission Societies from 24 European countries.
After the greetings of the Apostolic Nuncio to Hungary, Archbishop Michael Wallace Banach, and the President of the Hungarian Bishops' Conference, Bishop Veres András, Archbishop Nappa addressed the National Directors yesterday with a lecture based on the Apostolic Exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium” in the first introductory part about mission in general and in the second part about the special role of the Pontifical Mission Societies in the context of apostolic work in today's Europe. "Evangelization constitutes the Church, it constitutes it, it gives rise to it," said the President of the PMS, "beyond the various slogans that have alternated in recent years, we must speak of a Church that goes forth, which is at the same time dialogical and missionary: a Church that is not self-centered, a community entirely oriented towards evangelization, which makes dialogue its own form of expression”. Against this background, the mission of the Pontifical Mission Societies is for evangelization in an increasingly secularized Europe, in which, however, "the Catholic Church is considered a credible institution by public opinion, and trusted for her solidarity and concern for those in greatest need (EG 65)" primarily a commitment to walk with and in the church, to support the churches of the first evangelization, to help them to strengthen themselves in the faith, to stimulate a new era of missionary action by Christian communities.
"It is in this synodal context that we can also understand the task that awaits us if we want to revitalize the role and participation of the Pontifical Mission Societies in the overall work of the Dicastery for Evangelization: a synodal missionary journey that begins «at home»", concluded Archbishop Nappa, who proposed three concrete steps: the involvement of the different levels (central institutions, continental coordinations, national and diocesan directions) in the renewal of the Statutes; the organization, according to the linguistic groups, of the various missionary animation/training events, especially in countries "distant" towards faith; the establishment or expansion of the Pontifical Mission Societies in European countries where there is no national direction or where they are still at an early stage.
Today, Wednesday, February 7, the meeting of European National Directors continues with the presentation of the Secretary General of the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith, Father Tadeusz Nowak. (EG) (Agenzia Fides, 7/2/2024)