Summit of Superiors of Religious Missionaries Is Under Way

A First-of-Its-Kind Meeting Emphasizes Practical Needs

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 28, 2002 ( A meeting of general superiors of missionary institutes, the first ever held at this level, opened Monday at the Urban University in Rome.

The meeting was organized by the Vatican Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, whose prefect, Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, was the first speaker.

«You represent thousands of consecrated men and women who carry out the mission in the world,» he said. «You have a very rich experience, you know their options and needs as evangelizers.»

The objective is to make «the mission a constant topic of the ordinary pastoral» service of the Church, the cardinal said.

There are 240 general superiors attending the meeting, which is of a strictly practical and operational nature. The participants are, among other things, looking to improve cooperation between the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and the missionary institutes.

On the first day, addresses were given by two speakers from each of the continents where missionary work is taking place.

Today, 15 working groups debated the issues and Wednesday the participants will meet again to examine the key points resulting from the discussions.

Thursday will be dedicated to writing the final document, which will be presented the next day. The meeting will formally close with a Mass and papal audience.

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