“Although the emergency of Covid-19 this year prevented us from meeting the Holy Father in person in the annual General Assembly dedicated to the Pontifical Mission Societies, it was equally very emotional and touching to receive his message. We felt his presence and closeness very strongly”. This was reported by Father Edwin Mulandu, National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) in Zambia, in a conversation with Agenzia Fides, commenting on the Message that Pope Francis sent to the PMS on May 21, the solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord. Agenzia Fides asked him some questions.

What are the points of the Message that most affected you?

“The Holy Father’s message is very elaborate and underlines many points on the fundamental dimensions of our charism as Pontifical Mission Societies, which are Service to the Church and to the Supreme Pontiff; our missionary identity; prayer and charity as a simple method of participation in the mission. In particular, I was very touched when the Pope spoke of preserving and recovering the role of the PMS: even in past years, the Pope repeatedly informed us of the risk of transforming the PMS into a non-governmental organization (NGO). This applies in cases where all our efforts are devoted to raising and distributing funds. Sometimes we risk using professional fundraising methods that are used by NGOs and which are not compatible with the PMS charisma. Every kind of work we do must be placed in the hands of the Lord. I also consider very important the fact that the Pope in his message emphasizes the need to pay attention to the basic needs of the communities while avoiding a culture of well-being, which instead of assisting missionary zeal ends up making hearts lukewarm and nourishing the phenomena of addiction”.

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