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Mali Moves Toward Mission Sunday

‘For a peaceful Mali, here I am, send me Lord’

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«We have drawn from the theme of World Mission Day a theme adapted to the current situation in Mali and which will remain valid not only for the missionary month of October 2020 but also for all the PMS events in Mali from October 2020 to September 2021. The chosen theme is the following: «For a peaceful Mali, here I am, send me Lord», says Fr. Hervé Tienou, National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Mali to Agenzia Fides.

«In concrete terms, this is a contextualization of the global theme «Here I am: send me!» (Is 6, 8). This is to help every baptized, every Christian to feel sent on a mission in the name of his faith for the return of peace and social cohesion in Mali», continues Fr. Tienou, also addressing a thought to the people still in the hands of jihadists in Mali.

The National Director of the PMS in Mali stresses that the initiatives for World Mission Day started some time ago; «In August posters and animation booklets of the Pontifical Mission Societies 2020 – 2021 were prepared and distributed, in «Bambara» (the most common language in Mali) and in French. The posters are designed with the logo of the Missionary Month of October 2020 which is characterized by four constituent elements: the map of Mali, the hands intertwined in a circle with the national flag in the background, the dove which carries an olive branch in its beak. The two missionaries on their way each with their own pilgrim’s staff, finally the words: «For a peaceful Mali, here I am, send me Lord».

Fr. Tienou recalls that «the booklets are made to help our Christian communities to live more intensely World Mission Day, the Missionary Month of October and all the salient moments of the PMS during the year in prayer of the Rosary and in the daily meditation on God’s word; to sensitize the faithful to materially and financially support the missionary responsibilities of the Church through a greater contribution to the collections organized during the month of October and for each of the four Societies of the PMS and to promote the missionary spirit in every baptized person through greater involvement in the activities of the Church in our Basic Christian communities».

To promote Missionary Month, special programs are broadcast on national radio and television every Saturday and Sunday in October. The content of the programs focuses on: the presentation of the global theme and the theme adapted to the current context of Mali, the awareness and the appeal to prayer and animation during a first week for the apostolate of the laity so that they can ‘commit themselves more to the mission. During the second week, prayer and animation are for the apostolate of children and for a more intense and direct preparation for the celebration of World Mission Sunday. The following week coincides with World Mission Day and the emphasis is on presenting, reading, and meditating on the Holy Father’s message while praying and animating for «a missionary Church at the service of peace and the common good». During the last week of the missionary month of October, prayer and animation are for the apostolate of consecrated persons, underlining the importance of their commitment to the continuous animation of the four pontifical missionary societies at the level of parishes, Catholic action movements, schools, and seminaries – vocational groups.

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