Poland: The annual meeting with those in charge of mission work in Congregations was dedicated this year to the Extraordinary Missionary Month October 2019
The Missionary Commission of the Council of Major Superiors of Women Congregations in Poland organizes an annual missionary formation meeting for all their religious. The last edition was held from April 5-7, 2019, in Niepokalanow, in the convent founded by St. Maximilian Maria Kolbe OFM.
The Pontifical Mission Societies have always supported the initiative, but this year's edition had a special relevance because it was dedicated to the Extraordinary Missionary Month October 2019 announced by Pope Francis on the theme "Baptized and Sent: the Church of Christ in the World." For three days, more than 90 religious prayed for the missions and renewed their missionary zeal, then brought this spirit into their respective congregations.
The Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Torun, Bishop Józef Szamocki, took part in the entire meeting. In his homilies and speeches, he reminded the audience of the importance of missionaries’ personal relationship with Christ, witness of life and role everywhere in the world. Fr. Maciej Będziński, National Secretary of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Poland, and Sister Monika Juszka RMI, his assistant, focused on the meaning of the Extraordinary Missionary Month and on the commitment that the Holy Father asked of the faithful on this very special occasion, explaining to the religious how to respond to the Pontiff’s call within their various congregations, according to the charism of each, so as to strengthen the missionary identity of the religious communities to which they belong.
In the missionary market set up by Sister Agata, all the material necessary for missionary activity was provided, including the resources prepared by the Pontifical Mission Societies in Poland for the Extraordinary Missionary Month. Fr. Mirosław Adaszkiewicz OFMConv presented the figure of St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe OFM, whose missionary spirit was full of apostolic zeal and love for Mary and Jesus, not to mention his great trust in God, thanks to which the religious was able to overcome all the difficulties of the mission. Father Kolbe was also part of the Pontifical Missionary Union (which was called the Missionary Union of the Clergy in his time).
Father Krzysztof Kołodyński SVD held a session on evangelization through contemporary methods, explaining how to work with images and words, how to take beautiful and meaningful photographs, and how to represent reality through images and texts.
During the meeting, a central place was reserved for prayer. Daily Holy Mass, praying the Liturgy of the Hours together, the Way of the Cross for missionaries, recitation of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, the Holy Missionary Rosary and the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament filled the participants with strength and renewed missionary zeal. During the concluding Mass of the meeting, the sisters, who were enriched by their beautiful experiences, were sent to their respective communities by Bishop Szamocki with an individual blessing so that they would continue to rise and grow as missionaries.
S. Monika RMI/PPOOMM in Poland