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October 12, 1990     The Message
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October 12, 1990
 

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"GENEROUS AND CONSTANT' CONTRIBUTION Pope's World Mission Sunday message urges support of young mission churches through Propagation of Faith orld Mission Sunday, which originated as a result of an explicit request of the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith, "should be for all an important annual observance," said Pope John Paul II in a message for World Mission Sunday, October 21. "It is to this Society that the offerings of the faithful, collected on that day all over the world, are sent," he continued, "and it is from these offerings that the young churches receive substantial assistance for their activities: from the formation of seminarians to that of catechists, from the building of churches  and seminaries to the daily bread of the missionaries." The Holy Father urged "generous and constant" contribution to the Propagation of the Faith since "the needs to which the missionaries ..respond are truly many." "How could we not welcome with readiness and joy this appeal which manifests the vitality of the Church's youth?" he asked. "Among forms of human solidarity, missionary charity is characterized by its encouraging charge of hope: The mission is the future of the Church." "every priest... is a missionary for the world" -Pope John Paul II Sunday in every parish," they wrote. "The Church has designated this day for Catholics worldwide to recommit themselves to the missionary task and to support the Church financially in its outreach." In his message, the Pope charged Bishops to "make available to all Christians the tried and true ways of missionary animation," that is, the he importance of World Mission Sunday was clearly defined by the Bishops of the United States in their World Mission Pastoral, "To the Ends of the Earth." "We urge the fullest celebration of World Mission SOCIETY OF ST. PETER APOSTLE In his message for World Mission needed for that particular part of the SUnday (see stop:v above), Pope John world. At one maior seminary in Paul I1 called every priest a "mission- Kwang Ju, there are some 280 stu- ary for the world." Students at the dents. "People here have an extraordi- National Missionary Seminary of St. nary interest in priestly and Religious Paul in Abuja, Nigeria, indeed see life," Father Pang says. themselves that way. Two stories. Two parts of the world. Established by the Catholic Bish- Ops' Conference in Nigeria in 1976, the seminary was opened on World Mission Sunday 1977. The first class of 11 ".was ordained in 1986; their ,, . . mission" assignments included Nige- ria, Liberia and Uameroon in Africa as Well as Galveston-Houston, Texas. In May of last year, construction began on an addition to the seminary to handle the increase in the number of young men wishing to study for the mission- ) S ary priesthood there; currently, 79 are  Students at that seminary. , In another part of the world, in h:.  Korea, the rector ofKwang Ju Catfiolic, Po r ORnON m ffOR. The College, Father Sylvester Pang, details Society of St. Peter Apostle provided the remarkable growth of priestly aid for 280 seminarians at one VOcations them-priests who are most Korean seminary last year. " Pontifical Missionary Societies such as the Propagation of the Faith. "Each of these has its own field of action in support of missionary cooperation, and all should see to it that the faithful take active part in such cooperation," the Pope said. The opening of the message discussed the formation of priests as well as the role of the priest in the Church's missionary activity, both in light of the 25th anniversary of the Decree on the Church's Missionary Activity, Ad Genres. The Pope said that document of the Second Vatican Council "clearly indicates to priests what they must do to inspire in the faithful a love for the Missioris." "(Priests)...should inculcate in Christian families the necessity and honor of cultivating missionary vocations among their sons and daughters;...they should teach everyone to pray for the Missions, and they should also ask them to contribute generously both in money and in means, making themselves...beggars for the salvation of souls," he said. From World Mission Sunday offerings the young churches receive substantial assistance for the formation of seminarians and catechists, for the building of churches and seminaries, for the daily bread of missionaries. SUPPORTS MISSION VOCATIONS Yet, they are linked. The Society of St. Peter Apostle, affiliate of the Propaga- tion of the Faith, for the support of mission vocations helped to provide funds for the'addition to the National Missionary Seminary of St.. Paul in- Nigeri and for the training of the 280 students at the seminary in Korea. Last year, a total of some $4() million was given by the Society of St: Peter Apostle for ,the education of native priests and Religious Brothers and Sisters through- out Asia, Africa, the Pacific Islands and remote regions of Latin America. In 1989, 225 major seminaries and 570 minor seminaries received sup- port, an increase .from the 221 major and 548 minor seminaries aided the prior year. In addition, the support. given to 1,423 seminarians.came to fruition last year when they were or- dained priests; that was 169 more ordi- nations than the year before. There were 614 newly ordained priests for Africa; 659 for Asia. As has been the c for the past gain quotingAdGentes, the Pope said that all priests "must be pro- foundly aware of the fact that their very life is consecrated to the Missions." And, recalling a remark he made last April to National Directors of the Propa- gation of the Faith, he said that "every priest...is a missionary for the world." The Church's first missionary saw a prerequisite for such a feeling among today's priests: a solid missionary formation, which the seminary above all must provide. Several dioceses throughout the United States currently mandate that mission be part of the educational curriculum. Many U.S. seminaries also incorporate mission into their studies. Both actions were called for by U.S. Bishops in the World Mission Pastoral. PORTRAIT OF JEANNE BPGARD. In 1889, with her mother Stepha- nie, Jeanne Bigard founded the Society of St. Peter Apostle for the support of mission vocations. PopeJohn Paul II has called native clergy 'he hope of the missionary church." several years, vocations in the Mis- sions, especially to the lriesthood, have increased. To handle that, major semi- naries were opened in Kenya and Indo- nesia; a preparatory seminary in Zim- babwe, and minor seminaries in Rwanda, India, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. Such growth brings an in- crease in the demand for funds to sup- port these young men in their studies. The Holy Father himself has urged contributions be given to the Society of St. Peter Apostle so that "no vocation may be lost for lack of available means."