EUROPE/POLAND – The animators of the PMS are “the hands, heart and mind of the Pope”: the School for missionary animators 2021

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Warsaw – 70 people enrolled in the 1st grade of the online School for missionary animators promoted, according to a long tradition, by the National Direction of the Pontifical Mission Societies of Poland. The participants belonged to 33 dioceses, among them there were 5 priests and 6 nuns and many lay people.
The opening Mass, according to the note sent to Agenzia Fides by the National Direction of the PMS, was celebrated in the chapel of the PMS office, presided over by Fr. Maciej Będziński, National Director, who, as a young man, had also participated in this course. During the homily, he recalled that the tradition of the School for missionary animators in Poland goes back almost a quarter of a century: “We still need trained people who are committed to missionary animation”. He then underlined that the PMS are the hands, the mind and the heart of the Pope: “Hands that help with the heart, so that the PMS live the missionary nature of the Church, and with the mind, initiatives and projects must always be in line with the initiatives of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples”. Thanking the participants for their presence, he underlined the importance of missionary animators: “We need your collaboration very much. Christ calls each of you as an animator: catechist, parent, priest or nun”. The first conference, by Fr. Maciej Będzinski, concerned the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith.
At the end, those who have experience in missionary animation shared their knowledge and the realization of ideas. The Chaplet of Divine Mercy, led by Sister Monika Juszka RMI, national secretary of the Pontifical Society of Missionary Childhood, opened the works of the second part of the day, which saw the intervention of Father Simeon Stacher, OFM, a missionary in Morocco and National Director of the PMS, who shared his vast experience of missionary work. “When opportunities arise to broaden your missionary experience, you should always draw on them. Missions are a great symphony, and all instruments should be used”, he said.
The evening was dedicated to the theme “Youth and Mission”. The guest was Mgr. Tomasz Atłas, National Director in Poland from 2010 to 2020, currently working in the General Secretariat of the Pontifical Society of St. Peter the Apostle, in Rome. “This meeting today is the basis for organizing the animation work for the whole year.
Without a concrete man who lives the spirit of the PMS, there will be no concrete activities”, he underlined. The round table “Youth for the Missions” was dominated by the theme of the involvement of young people in missionary work through missionary voluntary service, which is articulated in different forms, as some experiences of committed young people testified.
The second day of the School opened with the presentation of the team members of the National Direction of the PMS and future projects. Sister Monika Juszka RMI then presented the Pontifical Society of Missionary Childhood, of which she is the national secretary, illustrating its history, activities and available material. Sister Monika also presented the missionary Synod for children scheduled for September 2022. Father Luca Bovio IMC, National Secretary of the Pontifical Missionary Union , then illustrated the nature and purpose of PUM.
Workshops are a permanent feature of the School for Missionary Animators. This year Karolina and Karol Fromont talked about the methods of evangelization. Father Marcin Zaguła, of the Missionaries of Africa, a long-time missionary in Burkina Faso, shared his rich experience. The last moment of the School for missionary animators 2021 was the act of entrusting all the participants and all the missionary animators to Our Lady, and their missionary sending, during the prayer held in the chapel of the Consolata Missionaries, in Kiełpin.