England and Wales Mission Society Gets New Name

«Missio» Underlines Unity With Other Countries

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LONDON, JUNE 10, 2009 (Zenit.org).- The Church in England and Wales is rebranding its national chapter of the Pontifical Mission Societies, re-launching it under a new name, «Missio,» in September.

The change was announced Tuesday after a Mass celebrated by the apostolic nuncio to Great Britain, Archbishop Faustino Sainz Muñoz, at the London headquarters of the mission society.

A press release from the organization reported today that the new name «symbolizes unity in faith and mission.»

Monsignor John Dale, national director for Missio, explained, «As a symbol of unity in faith and mission, several of the European offices have chosen to share a single name, Missio, a word that is simple and easily recognizable in many languages.»

He added, «Missio, from the Latin ‘sending out,’ also expresses commitment to the God-given mission of the Church.»

The organization oversees assistance given to 1,069 mission dioceses worldwide through the collection of donations and support for specific needs, including 194,855 schools, 5,246 hospitals, 17,530 dispensaries, 577 leprosy centers and 80,560 other social and pastoral projects.

Funds are collected in the dioceses and then sent directly to the bishops of the mission territories.

The press statement from the agency affirmed that «despite the name change, its mission remains unchanged.»

Monsignor Dale said, «This change of name, which will be adopted in September, has been approved and welcomed by the bishops of England and Wales.

«Its logo shows the Cross at the center of its service to the Gospel. The new motto ‘Sharing Faith, Giving Life’ expresses Missio’s vital commitment to serving the Church, especially where the Church is young or poor.»

On last year’s World Mission Sunday, Benedict XVI expressed appreciation for the work of the organization, stating: «I cannot fail to point out with sincere appreciation the contribution of the Pontifical Mission Societies to the Church’s evangelizing activity.

«I thank them for the support they offer to all the communities, especially the young ones. They are a valid instrument for animating and forming the People of God from a missionary viewpoint, and they nurture the communion of persons and goods between the different parts of the Mystical Body of Christ.»

The Pontifical Mission Societies, claiming members in many countries, have the goal of nurturing younger Churches worldwide until they are self-sufficient, with their own indigenous priests, religious and laity.

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On the Net:

Mission in England and Wales: www.missio.org.uk

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