First Pizarro Period (1970-1975)

Father Gregorio I. Pizarro, SVD (1923-2005) became national director in 1970, continuing the long and much appreciated tradition of SVD service of the PMS.

            “Youth, Vocation, and Mission” captures much of the PMS emphasis in 1971.  The PMS published two booklets on the various congregations for women and men in the Philippines: What You Have Always Wanted to Know about Sisters and Here I Am (about men’s groups).  The Mission Education Committee completed a series of lesson plans for religion classes in the schools.

            The year 1972 was a time of three special commemorations: the 350th anniversary of the establishment of Propaganda Fide in 1622 by Pope Gregory XV (now CEP), the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith in 1822, and the 50th anniversary of the Pontifical Mission Societies (the four societies received the official title of “pontifical” works in 1922).

            In 1972 the PMS National Office gathered statistical data on the number of Filipino missionaries serving abroad.  Succinctly expressed, there were a total of 419 missionaries, of which 392 were women religious from 21 congregations and 27 priests from 5 groups (The Missions 10:4 [1973], 12-13).

Martial Law was declared in the Philippines on September 21, 1972.  Mission animation efforts by the PMS continued in the subsequent years, but much of the attention of the Church’s pastoral agents became focused on social-political-economic-religious issues in the context of Church and Society vis-à-vis Martial Law.