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Poland: Congress of Practical Theology, 1050 years after its Christening, “is it a mission country?”

Pastoral conversion and formation of a new ecclesial mindset – these are the two new challenges identified at the Congress of Practical Theology that has come to an end on 21 September in Warsaw. During the three-day event, pastoral care and homiletics experts alongside catechists have tried to answer the question “Is Poland a mission country 1050 years after its Christening?”. Recalling Pope Francis’ teachings on pastoral care, which “should be tailored to the needs of those who have lost their way, to assist their search”, Monsignor Wieslaw Smigiel, Auxiliary Bishop of Pelplin, pointed out that “conversion is an intrinsic part of Christian life which concerns not just individuals, but also churches and communities”. Andrzej Potocki, Professor at the University of Warsaw, stressed the need to “activate the laity”, already identified by John Paul II in his Christifideles Laici, but “not yet sufficiently visible”. The prelate decried the “laziness” of both the clergy and the laity, pointing to the need for a “new mindset of conversion”. The participants in the meeting also stressed the importance of making “mission” more visible in school catechesis aimed at those young people who “have their eyes glued to their smartphones” and have agreed that WYD in Krakow has been “a positive example of youth involvement in the life of the Church”.

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