EUROPE/HUNGARY -Meeting of European National Directors of the Pontifical Mission Societies: “Synodality as the ‘modus operandi’ of the Church”

Friday, 9 February 2024 pontifical mission societies   missionary animation   evangelization  

Budapest (Agenzia Fides) - The annual meeting of the European Directors of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS), held this year in Budapest (see Fides 6/2/2024), ended on Thursday evening, February 8, with a Eucharistic celebration presided over by the Apostolic Nuncio in Hungary, Archbishop Michael Wallace Banach. "We have a strong spirit of solidarity among us and a generous openness to share experiences and resources. The moments of prayer and the daily Eucharist allow us to return to the source of our missionary commitment," explained Father Anthony Chantry, National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in England and Wales and continental coordinator for Europe. "This year," emphasized Father Anthony, "we also welcomed among us the President of the Pontifical Mission Societies and the General Secretaries of the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith (POPF) and the Pontifical Missionary Union (PMU), who enrich our local exchanges and the connection with the other National Directions present all over the world. Identity, charism and the role of the Pontifical Mission Societies were the key concepts at the heart of the presentation by the Secretary General of the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith, Father Tadeusz Nowak OMI, who spoke on the third day of the works and called on the National Directors to focus on some key elements, common to the missionary work of each direction. These include the universality of the missionary mandate, the promotion and animation of the missionary spirit in the local Church, prayer, as the most important "task" of the mission, communication and information of the activities of the PMS to the local Church, starting from the Bishops and finally respect for the role of the national director of the Pontifical Mission Societies. "We are at the service of the local Church. We are there to help the bishop, the clergy, the religious and the laity of the local Church to awaken, promote and form a stronger missionary spirit in the hearts of the faithful. It is important that a genuine desire to help the local Church in this task is expressed and manifested: the service of evangelization", emphasized Father Nowak. Theimportance of synodality in the renewal of the Pontifical Mission Societies was the focus of the lecture by the Secretary General of the Pontifical Missionary Union, Father Din Anh Nhue Nguyen OFM Conv. Based on an extensive bibliography, Father Nguyen first explained the "Kairós" of synodality in the Church and discussed the difference between synod and synodality. He explained that the fact that "this linguistic novelty requires careful theological clarification is a sign of something new that has matured in the ecclesial consciousness, starting from the Magisterium of the Second Vatican Council and from the experiences of the local Churches and the universal Church since the last Council to this day". The General Secretary of PMU added: "Synodality is the specific modus vivendi et operandi of the Church, of the People of God, which reveals and concretizes its communion when all its members walk together, gather and actively participate in its evangelizing mission. Creating, therefore, a synodal Church is an indispensable prerequisite for a new missionary impulse that involves the entire people of God". Finally, Father Nguyen emphasized the concept of synodality in the Pope's recent messages for World Mission Sunday and the General Assembly of the Pontifical Mission Societies. (EG) (Agenzia Fides, 9/2/2024)