PONTIFICIUM OPUS A SANCTA INFANTIA
MISSIONARY PASTORAL CARE WITH CHILDREN
It is Jesus himself who has called us: "Come and follow me", "friends", "Go and evangelize all peoples" (Mt. 28:19). We hope that we will be his disciples and that we will make disciples for him. This is what the children of Missionary Childhood propose: "to be friends of Jesus and to make friends for Jesus".
Missionary Childhood aims to succeed in making children carry out their local and universal mission adequately. In this missionary pastoral care, we not only become missionaries but we help others to be missionaries. We propose "to be" Jesus' disciples, "to make disciples" for Jesus, and to help so that "they will make" more disciples for Him. For this reason, this missionary pastoral care must have a real priority in the diocesan and parish pastoral program (RM 83).
Missionary Childhood is really the principal Society of the universal Church and of each particular Church for the missionary pastoral care of children.
This missionary service is carried out through the protagonist role of the children themselves. Jesus himself is the one who has given them a very important mission in the Church and in the world. They themselves have to carry it out by evangelizing themselves and evangelizing. The children are certainly receivers of missionary pastoral care; however, first of all they are its protagonists. For this reason, missionary pastoral care will always have to be "with" the children.
A Missionary Pastoral Care with children requires providing services in four areas that are complementary to one another:
In this way, through this missionary animation, formation, communion and cooperation, Missionary Childhood helps each child to be a missionary in his/her family, school, community and for the whole world. By serving children in the four areas, Missionary Childhood fulfills its principal objective which is children's missionary education, and it also succeeds in promoting their growing universal missionary cooperation.