What's the best way for the Church to evangelize? Pope Francis addressed this very issue with the Pontifical Mission Society, which held its Annual General Assembly in Rome.
Cardinal Fernando Filoni, who serves as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples talked about their mission and how it all started.
CARD. FERNANDO FILONI
Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples
"The Pontifical Mission Societies comes from the heart of a French lay woman, the venerable Pauline Marie Jaricot, in Lyon in the year 1817. She was a young worker who wanted to participate in the missionary work of the Church from her own job.”
The Societies evangelize in places where the Catholic Church is new young, poor or unstable. The Pope explained that a renewed Church is needed to evangelize properly.
"In this time of great social change, evangelization requires a thoroughly outgoing missionary Church, capable of discernment in order to engage with different cultures and visions of people. For a changing world we need a Church renewed and transformed by contemplation and personal contact with Christ.”
The Church, explained the Pope, is by nature a missionary Church, a home for the poor, excluded and persecuted. He described it as a home that gives shelter to everyone.
In addition to thanking them for spreading the Gospel, he asked them to raise awareness, at a local level, about the missionary work that's needed in the Church.