400 years of Propaganda Fide: "let us ask God for the gift of a strong faith, following the example of the first missionaries
Dar es Salaam (Agenzia Fides) - "Do we still have that strong faith of the early missionaries or not?" asked Moons. Damian Denis Dallu, Archbishop of Songea and President of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) of Tanzania, in his homily on the occasion of the solemn Mass for the four hundred years since the foundation of the Sacred Congregation De Propaganda Fide, currently known as the Dicastery for Evangelization, held on November 13.
In his homily, Archbishop Dallu insisted very much on the need to ask God for the gift of a strong faith. While making comparison with the early missionaries, he challenged every Christian of today to ask oneself whether we still have that strong faith of the early missionaries or not. In his view as a Pastor, he witnessed that in today’s world the majority have little or wavering faith – where in the face of life challenges they end up into joining the mushrooming religious sects or other devilish trends simply because they hope to get some quick fix solutions to their problems.
Worse still, the Archbishop emphasized that, there is a growing tendency among the faithful where they search for miracles to the extent of abandoning Catholic faith on the ground that in her they don’t find miracles! Thus, there is need for everyone to stand firm in faith. Similarly, the Church has to ensure that even in the Social Services it offers at different levels, the main focus should be service as a way of evangelization, as the early missionaries did.
This year the entire Catholic Church celebrates special jubilees, namely: the four hundred years since the foundation of the Sacred Congregation De Propaganda Fide, currently known as the Dicastery for Evangelization and the 200th Anniversary since the foundation of the Missionary Society of the Propagation of the Faith (POPF), the 100th Anniversary since the elevation into pontifical status of the first three Missionary Societies (POPF, POSPA and POSI) and the 150th Anniversary since the birth of Blessed Paul Manna the founder of the Society of the Missionary Union (PUM).
In this special year, the Tanzanian Episcopal Conference deemed it opportune to celebrate these anniversaries at the Headquarters of the Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC) from 12th to 13th November, 2022. These events were attended by representatives from all over the country including: bishops, priests, religious men and women, major seminarians, catechists, a big number of children belonging to the Holy Childhood Society and some Tanzanian government officials.
The first day was specifically meant for special seminars on evangelization and were enriched with a special book on the History of the Congregation (before and after its establishment) issued by our PMS National Director. On November 13 the Solemn Jubilee Mass was held and presided over by the Archbishop Chairman of the Tanzania Episcopal Conference, His Grace Gervas M. Nyaisonga, Bishop of Mbeya.