Pope Francis says "Like the disciples of Jesus, sent two by two to preach among the poor and the little ones, so too the missionaries of yesterday and today often encounter the joy..." to PIME Missionaries

Clementina room
Thursday, October 13, 2022
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning and welcome!
I thank the Superior General of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions, who introduced our meeting; and I greet all of you who work and collaborate in various ways in the magazine Mondo e Missione, born 150 years ago. It was then called "The Catholic Missions". Its "cradle" was the Lombard Seminary for Foreign Missions, and its model Les Missions Catholiques, which the Opera for the Propagation of the Faith had begun to publish four years earlier, in Lyon. We are struck by the topicality, modernity, the horizon of that initiative, which from the very beginning expresses and promotes an "outgoing" Church. Yes, when you go out you stay young.

If you sit there, without going, you get old quickly!
It should be emphasized that the magazine was created to respond to a need of the people of God: many wanted to read the stories of the missionaries - heroic! -, to feel close to them and their works, to accompany them with prayer. And they also wanted to know the countries and cultures in a different way from the more common one - at that time imbued with a colonial mentality -: with a Christian gaze, respectful and attentive to the "seeds" of truth and good scattered throughout the world. We pay homage to the memory of Father Giacomo Scurati, first director, and to his collaborators. They understood the value of communication in mission, first of all for the Church itself, in order to be extroverted and fully involved in evangelization, all missionary, all evangelizing. These pioneers of 150 years ago understood the importance of making known the countries to which they were destined and the way in which, in those distant lands, the encounter between the Gospel and local communities took place. From the very beginning, therefore, the magazine was the bearer of a broad gaze, open to the riches of every people and every local Church. And this still remains today the vocation of Mondo e Missione, as it was "renamed" in 1969, to take on the spirit and teachings of the Second Vatican Council regarding mission ad gentes.
For many years, the letters and chronicles of the missionaries have accurately portrayed the contexts and the lives of the people they came into contact with. And still today the reportages and direct testimonies represent the most characteristic feature of the magazine, thanks to stories from places or situations that few others speak of: geographical and existential peripheries, which, in a world where communication has apparently shortened distances, continue however to remain relegated to the margins. Distances have shortened, it is true, but ideological "customs" have multiplied. And then the challenge still becomes today to go right there to make known the beauty and richness of differences, but also the many distortions and injustices of increasingly interconnected societies and at the same time marked by heavy inequalities.
Being the voice of the voiceless is a primary task of the magazine, as well as other initiatives that PIME has promoted in the field of communication: the AsiaNews agency, multimedia content, presence in social networks, cultural and entertainment activities. All ways to tell the world by putting oneself on the side of those who have no right to speak or are not heard, of the poorest, of the oppressed minorities, of the victims of forgotten wars. I want to underline this: the forgotten wars. Today we are all worried, and it is good that it is, of a war here in Europe, at the door of Europe and in Europe, but for years there have been wars: more than ten years in Syria, think of Yemen, think of Myanmar, think of Africa. These do not enter, they are not from cultured Europe ... Forgotten wars are a pity, to forget them like this.
And also to remember those who work silently and tenaciously "from below" to build a different world, tracing paths of solidarity and reconciliation in contexts marked by crisis or violence.
As a missionary magazine, Mondo e Missione also has another specific task that characterizes it: that of helping to recognize the mission is at the center. Recognize that the mission is at the center. Remind Christian communities that if they look only at themselves, losing the courage to go out and bring the word of Jesus to everyone, they end up dying out. To show how the Gospel, meeting different peoples and cultures, is given back to us every day in its newness and freshness. And it also creates dialogue and friendship with those who profess other religions, recognizing themselves as children of the one Father. Because reality is best seen from the peripheries. For this I thank you in a particular way.
In what continue to be considered "peripheries", missionaries have often discovered that the Holy Spirit had arrived before them. Those who had left to evangelize found themselves receiving Good News most of the time. Like the disciples of Jesus, sent two by two to preach among the poor and the little ones, so too the missionaries of yesterday and today often encounter the joy and new life that the Gospel is capable of generating. It is not possible to keep an experience like this for oneself. In this sense, it becomes increasingly important to give voice to young and growing Churches, to communities - sometimes founded by PIME - which today express new and promising dynamics, docile to the Spirit.

In a world unfortunately marked by so many wounds, this is - in the end - the reason that after 150 years pushes us to create a magazine like World and Mission: to give voice to the hope that the encounter with Christ sows in the life of individuals and peoples. . To tell everyone that a better world is possible, when following Jesus we learn to reach out to every brother and sister.

Dear friends, thank you for letting me know your story and your commitment better. Go on! Faithful to your roots, attentive to the signs of the times and open to the future of God. I cordially bless you and I also bless the readers and supporters of Mondo e Missione. And I ask you to please pray for me. Thank you!
Source: Vatican.va