“A number of developments have taken place in the recent past in Zambia. Last year, in September, there was a change of government. The ruling party lost the elections and there was a smooth transition of power. We are yet to see in which direction the Government will take the country”, Fr. Bernard Makadani Zulu, director of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) of Zambia, says.
How is your work as National Director of PMS going?
The mission office is a new reality and the work is going on well. We have our on-going animation work; while we are busy trying to reposition the Pontifical Mission Societies so that we able to partner with other groups in the Church. We believe this will help to intensify the understanding that promoting the mission of the Church is a common responsibility of the members in the Church.
Do you have a plan of action?
We have devised a plan of action, setting down a few goals. We wish all Christians to be aware of their missionary responsibility. We also want to promote a missionary spirituality and involve more people in celebrating evangelization. To achieve these goals, we are preparing printed material in local languages to support the work of our animators.
You came to Portugal for the Missionary Exposition in Fatima. How do you evaluate the missionary spirit of this country?
The missionary exposition in Fatima was a faith filled experience for me. I believe that this missionary initiative will help orienting the Church towards more missionary cooperation. I also felt it was an occasion to enhance the bond of missionaries in this country as evangelizers, share mission experiences, to reflect on the universal cooperation, widen the horizons beyond the local Church, and continue to feel part of the universal effort to bring the Good News to all Peoples. The missionary exposition was for me a global sign of the universal Church and her mission. I was gratified to meet missionaries from Africa and Asia serving the Church in Portugal. This is confirmation that in mission the interexchange of spiritual values, material and human resources makes a unique contribution to the growth and maturation of faith.
What is the role of the PMS in a local Church?
I have worked for the Pontifical Mission Societies as a national director for the 9 years now. It is has been an interesting task for me. Our primary task is to promote the missionary awareness, spirituality, to inform the people of God of the needs of the universal mission and to promote mutual support between Churches, exchange spiritual values, material resources and missionary personnel. This inevitably awakens a spirit of solidarity in carrying out the mandate of evangelize the whole world. Such solidarity promotes worldwide interest in evangelizing all sectors of the people of God. Therefore each person should see him/herself as an agent of the PMS with the ability and will to contribute to needs of the universal Church. This is by no means a mere option but a major responsibility by virtue of baptism.
The people of God can partner with the evangelizing mission in various ways like prayer, mission cooperation, service and financial support. It is in view of this that the Pontifical Mission Societies engage agents of evangelization to cooperate in bringing to fruition the mission mandate of Christ, “As the Father sent me, so I am sending you”. In this way every Christian would become conscious of the need to become a useful partner in promoting missionary consciousness and would appropriate the conviction that no one is too poor to give or too rich to receive. Consequently every Christian would cooperate in responding to the mission mandate of Christ according to his or her capacity.