October 22, 2011. (Romereports.com)
For the first time, Archbishop Fernando Filoni will attend World Mission Day as the head of the Vatican's congregation that deals with missions. He says, he hopes the celebration will be a way to remember all Catholics, that play a big role in missionary projects.
During an interview with ROME REPORTS, Filoni says he hopes the day will serve to deepen the faith of missionaries, so they in turn can transmit that very faith to others. He also hopes it will strengthen their prayer, solidarity and economic support.
The areas where the missionary work takes place focuses in places where Christianity doesn't have its roots. Places in Africa, Asia, Oceania and even some parts of the Americas.
Currently, there are about 44,000 missionaries spread over the world. Africa is the continent with the most, with nearly 15,000. It's then followed by Latin America which has about 12,000.
The dark side of missionary work, is that at times, missionaries are threatened and even killed because of religious intolerance. The latest case involves Italian priest Fausto Tentori. He was killed last October 17th in the Philippines.
According to Archbishop Filoni, “every death is traumatic and serious. But it's also a testimony of moral wealth and generosity because they are generous people who love God and are willing to love others at the expense of life.”
During his last Angelus, the Pope announced the coming “Year of Faith,” where the pope emphasized the relevance of missionary work. Under this new goal, the work of the missions and the New Evangelization will definitely be key.