The Holy Father lauded the members of the Pontifical Missionary Works at their general assembly this morning saying that their work helps transmit the Gospel “to the ends of the earth.”
"The objective of the general assembly of your Superior Council is to search for the ways of the Lord for a renewed mission in a world in continual change. Concern moves you to bring love and mercy to all peoples,” said John Paul II. He noted that the fact that they were updating their statutes “shows the will to continue to fulfill your mission of ‘mercy and peace.’”
"You are like Simon of Cyrene,” said the Holy Father, “helping the Savior to bring the Cross to every person who suffers and is dying. You are true missionaries in a world marked by globalization, one in which suffering for truth and justice transcends every national border." The Pope noted that the “suffering and needs are greater” in the Third World, and must be given “special consideration.”
Pointing to the serious concerns that exist in the developed world, the Pope said: "When you are anguished over the suffering of other peoples and work to alleviate their great need for help, you too are working to help your own peoples to escape the narrow ways of selfishness and of being suffocated by abundance, emptiness and attitudes, sometimes unworthy of human beings."
I urge you," he concluded, "to collaborate, as you are already doing, with the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, in a continuous search for 'new ways' for the Gospel. Missionary zeal and cooperation are the reason for your existence and the only purpose for your tireless 'concern for all churches' for the world's salvation."