Participants of the Pontifical Mission Societies’ meeting, held at the Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Seated (from left): Fr Terence Pereira (Singapore), Auxiliary Bishop Simon Poh (Kuching), Archbishop John Wong (Kota Kinabalu), Fr V. A. Michael Kuala Lumpur) and Ms Justina Sharon (PMS secretary and accountant).  Standing (from left): Fr John Pereira (Melaka-Johor), Fr Kevin Chundi (Miri), Fr Isidore Gilbert (Kota Kinabalu), Fr Paul Mikin (Keningau), Fr Jasery Gabuk (Sandakan) and Fr Victor Louis (Penang).

Directors of the region’s Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) reflected on Pope Francis’ message for World Mission Sunday during their recent annual meeting.

The PMS is the official missionary arm of the Catholic Church charged with the work of evangelisation and charitable works throughout the world.

In his message for World Mission Sunday, which will be celebrated on Oct 23, the pope invited everyone to “go out” as missionary disciples, offering their talents, wisdom and experience to share the message of God’s tenderness and compassion.

During the PMS’ June 27-29 meeting, which had the theme, Missionary Church, Witness of Mercy, participants discussed what the pope said about the growing presence of women in the missionary world, working alongside their male counterparts, as a significant sign of God’s maternal love.

The PMS directors from the dioceses of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei noted that women – lay and Religious – and even many families, today carry out their missionary vocation in various forms – from announcing the Gospel to charitable service.

The participants, together with Archbishop John Wong of Kota Kinabalu, the Episcopal President for New Evangelisation, shared their experiences of how women played major roles in missionary and other work in their service to the Church.

During the meeting, Ms Daphne Leong, from the Office for the New Evangelisation (ONE), shared with participants how ONE calls all Catholics to work in communion by renewing, living and sharing their faith. She shared that the four tenets of the new evangelisation for the Singapore archdiocese are Word, Worship, Communion and Witness.

PMS national director, Fr V. A. Michael from Kuala Lumpur archdiocese, also explained the roles and objectives of the four different societies in PMS – the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, Society of St Peter the Apostle, Society of the Holy Childhood and Society of Missionary Union of Priests and Religious.

The meeting was held at the Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

By Justina Sharon