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Friday, December 9, 2016
Mission at World Youth Day
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¬†For the first time, the Pontifical Mission Societies will be officially represented at this year's World Youth Day celebrations in Cologne. "For some time now National Directors have reflected on the missionary dimension of youth pastoral- Fr Giuseppe Pellegrini, Vice director PMS Italy and assistant of the Italian Missionary Youth Movement told Fides: "We are well aware that young people, despite their fragility, are a resource and hope for Mission. Many are ready to go to distant places, many are already involved in missionary activity, of experiences. Children who have grown up with Holy Childhood should be offered another missionary path suited to their age, their capabilities and their needs". In May 2004 the General Assembly of the National PMS Directors approved a proposal to send an official PMS delegation to the 20th World Youth Day celebrations in Cologne. A special European secretariat was established to deal with the practical organisation, visas, accommodation, enrolment etc., as well as initiatives of prayer and missionary work. "PMS National Directors, present in more than 100 different countries, were invited to send a delegation for 2 young people aged 18 to 31 who take an active part in PMS activity or are members of a youth movement connected with the Pontifical Mission Societies accompanied by an animator to be part of the PMS delegation to World Youth Day" Giorgio Minella head of the European secretariat, told Fides. "So far we have 150 delegates from 50 different countries in Europe, America, Africa, Asia and Papua New Guinea in Oceania," Minella told Fides. The PMS delegations will join all the other young participants in the established days of preparation, from 11-15 August, during which they will stay with local families and meet German young people in the diocese of Limburg, in the cities of Wiesbaden, Hofheim and FlŲrsheim. On August 15 they will move to Dusseldorf to an international camp site set up by scouts. "From 17 to 19 August as part of the established 'Youth Encounter' events, some of the young PMS delegates will present missionary animation programmes and share their missionary spirit and experience with the thousands of other young WYD participants" said Minella. Moreover young PMS delegates will be on duty at an Exhibition on Mission at St Peter's Church in central Dusseldorf from 17-19 August to illustrate missionary activity on the five continents of the world to visitors and share with them their personal experience. In the evening of 17 August the theme of mission will be the subject of a performance "The legend of the Tumai" by 400 young people with dance, song, mime and dialogue. The performance is organised by Fr. Michel Besse. On the evening of 18 August the PMS delegation will lead the recitation of the Rosary with meditations on the Mysteries of Light: each of the five decades will be devoted to a different continent. "We hope this PMS presence at World Youth Day will be a first concrete step towards achieving international coordination of young missionaries - said Fr Giuseppe Pellegrini - to collect and share what has been achieved, encourage more efforts and offer opportune pastoral guidelines. In my opinion what we need, as indeed the new PMS Statutes affirm, is a Youth Service at the level of the International Secretariats of the Pontifical Mission Societies flanked by a council of a five representatives, one from each continent, who in turn oversee the organisation of national Youth Service networks. Certainly this is a sizeable task, but it is also an opportunity not to be lost". Source: Fides
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