Reflection on the understanding of mission

First meeting of the General Secretariat since its appointment in 2023

The General Secretariat for Missions met in Rome at the end of February to exchange ideas, get to know each other better and reflect on the understanding of mission today. The statute of the missionary secretariats was also discussed.

The General Secretariat for the Missions brings together the friars responsible for the animation, formation and support of the missionaries in their respective jurisdictions. At present, the Secretariat consists of Fr Reinhold Maise (Germany, Sacred Heart Province), Fr Jan Józef Oleszko (Poland, Warsaw Province), Fr Allan Bukenya (Tanzania, East Africa Region), Fr Balaji Boyalla (India, Gloria-Dei Region), Fr Cristiano Rodrigues de Jesus (Brazil, St Paul’s Province) and Fr Peter Sticco (USA, Baltimore Province, who was absent). They are supported by Fr Daniel Luz Rocchetti, General Councillor and Secretary General for the Missions.

The team was appointed by the General Council in mid-2003, but only now had the opportunity to get to know each other personally and to work together for a week. The sharing of experiences and lives during these days was very enriching. As this was the first face-to-face meeting, one day was dedicated to introductions, getting to know each other and discovering personal competencies and responsibilities. There was already a lively exchange of information which showed how important it is to build relationships, friendship and fraternity before talking about projects and tasks.

Mission comes from God

Zenon Hanas, also took the opportunity to address the confreres, highlighting some of the challenges of the mission. Daniel Rocchetti also gave a brief report on his first impressions and dreams of his new mission.

Changing the understanding of mission to better respond to new challenges

The participants then had the opportunity to reflect on their own understanding of mission. Just as the way of being church has been updated throughout history, just as the way of thinking and doing theology has been updated, so too the understanding of mission has changed in order to respond better to new challenges. It has been important to remember that mission comes from God. He communicates himself to people at all times and in all places, and makes himself recognisable according to the human standards of our time. It was concluded that mission is not only about carrying out social and charitable projects.

The members then worked on updating the statutes of the missionary secretariats. This work built on the work of the previous leadership. After several discussions, new adjustments and proposals were made, paragraph by paragraph, as the current statutes date back to 1999. This new version will be prepared by the General Secretary and submitted to the General Council for comment, possible adaptation and approval.

Economy, mission and interculturality

In the afternoon, a brief online meeting was held at the Ponte Sisto Hotel with the Executive Director of the Mission Project Service (MPS), Arthur A. Pingolt, Jr. and Mrs Jennifer Pingolt from the USA, to inform participants about the MPS funding guide and grant writing. The Vicars General and Mission Directors of the Pallottine Congregations, Sister M. Małgorzata Wyrodek and Sister Venicia Meurer, were invited to this meeting. Bukenya Allan shared his experience of setting up the project and his studies on the Dpro Guide project.

Interculturality is a global issue

During the week the participants met with the General Treasurer, Fr Vanderlei Cargnin, and the General Secretary for Formation, Fr Jeremiah Murphy. The former spoke on the theme of economy and mission, the latter on interculturality and collaboration. Reinhold Maise, from the German Vinzenz Pallotti University in Vallendar, made an enriching contribution to the theme of interculturality. A specialisation on this theme is currently being organised there.

Holy Mass at the altar of the Founder

At the end of the meeting plans were made for the future: the next annual meeting of the Secretariat was planned; in 2026 there will be a meeting with the Mission Secretaries of the different Provinces and Regions; in 2027 there will be a great Missionary Congress to promote and take care of the formation of missionaries, because the Secretaries are at the service of the brothers, priests and confreres who give their feet and their lives to the difficult reality of the mission.

“Go into all the world and announce the Gospel”

In the concluding Holy Mass at the altar of the Founder, in the presence of the local community, the members received the blessing that sends them back to their important work. Go into all the world and proclaim the Gospel” rang out once again, sending everyone on their mission!

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Text & Pictures: Generalate of the Society of the Catholic Apostolate, Rome,
Translation: Deepl Write, Alexander Schweda


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