VATICAN CITY, MAY 11, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI met today with directors of the Pontifical Missionary Works, which oversees missionary cooperation among the Churches of the world and is currently celebrating the annual assembly of its governing council.
The Pope remembered in his address Father Massimo Cenci, under-secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of the Peoples, who passed away this morning due to a heart attack. “May the Lord reward him for all the work he carried out on mission and at the service of the Holy See.”
The Holy Father gave his support and encouragement to the project by the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and the Pontifical Missionary Works, which will encourage a worldwide campaign of praying the rosary in support of the Year of Faith.
Benedict XVI also encouraged those present to continue their work in the face of persecution. He called on them to be messengers of the Gospel in a world going through economic, political and cultural changes. “However, despite the problems and the tragic reality of persecution, the Church is not discouraged, she remains faithful to her Lord’s mandate, in the awareness that ‘as always in Christian history, the martyrs, that is, the witnesses, are numerous and indispensable to the path of the Gospel,'” he said.
The Pope exhorted members to be persistent in their commitment of “keeping alive the missionary vocation of all disciples of Christ.”
“Your work of missionary animation and formation is part of the soul of pastoral care, because the ‘missio ad gentes’ constitutes the paradigm of the whole apostolic action of the Church,” he said. He emphasized the importance of being a visible expression of the communion of persons and a “communicating vessel” of the Word of Truth to all peoples and cultures.
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