The mission is a very important training ground, particularly for candidates for the Holy See’s Diplomatic Service. Pope Francis’ focus on missionary experience around the world has become a required part of formation for the 2020-2021 academic year.

This is exactly what the Holy Father writes in his letter published February 11, 2020, to the Most Reverend Joseph MARINO, President of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, namely, that the curriculum of academic formation must include a year dedicated entirely to missionary service, outside of a student’s respective diocese of origin, to be carried out in the particular Churches around the world.
The Pope had already expressed this desire at the conclusion of the Synod on the Amazon and now it shall become a key part of formation. Pope Francis writes: “I am convinced that such an experience will be useful to all young men who are preparing or are initiating priestly service but, in a particular way, to those who in the future will be called to collaborate with Pontifical Representatives and who, later, will in turn be sent by the Holy See to nations and particular Churches.”
This training will allow students to enter different international realities, to live out the pastoral theory acquired through study in a concrete manner, to take part in a journey of daily evangelization in different contexts, alongside the particular Churches and among different peoples.
The Pope’s focus on missionarity makes his connection with St. Francis of Assisi and his confreres even more solid. Indeed, Franciscans today, as in centuries past, are engaged in missions all around the world. Moreover, just a few days ago, following the Apostolic Exhortation “Querida Amazonia”, the website of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual (, mentioned the Order’s missionary commitment, and then invited anyone who might read the Apostolic Exhortation and feel inspired to go on a mission, to tell his Minister Provincial or Custos, in order to start a new and intense experience of pastoral ministry and evangelical testimony.

Elisabetta LO IACONO – Seraphicum Press Office, Rome
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