Rosales Period (1975-1982)

Bishop Gaudencio B. Rosales (1932- ), Auxiliary Bishop of Manila, became PMS National Director on September 18, 1975.  Mission promotion activities during 1975, a Holy Year, continued in their usual patterns, especially with the dynamic Mission Education Committee composed of 30-40 religious sisters.

            Perhaps the most far-reaching decision made in 1975 was the action to change from a regular magazine publication to a newsletter format. The chosen format would consist of one printed sheet that would be folded twice across its width to make it resemble a giant book mark; The Missions Newsletter was born.

Bishop Rosales capitalized on his travels to visit Filipino missionaries in Southeast Asia.  Returning from the PMS meeting in Rome in May 1979, he visited members of the Philippine Mission Society (MSP) in Northern Thailand and in Indonesia [at this juncture Bishop Rosales was serving as the MSP Director].

Undoubtedly, the highlight of the seven-year Rosales period at the PMS was the International Mission Congress (IMC) held in Manila on December 2-7, 1979 to mark the 400th anniversary of the founding of the Diocese of Manila.  The congress was jointly sponsored by the Sacred Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and the Pontifical Mission Aid Societies; its theme was: “The Good News of God’s Kingdom to the Peoples of Asia.”

The stated purpose of the IMC was: to discuss contemporary orientations in the Church’s Theology of Mission and to clarify and deepen the theological foundations of the work of the PMS; to renew the motivation for the Church’s primary task of evangelization; and, to provide renewed guidelines for policies and planning for the Church’s missionary effort.

            Several high-quality publications were produced in this period: The Good News of God’s Kingdom to the Peoples of Asia (1980) and Toward a New Age in Mission: International Congress on Mission (1981).  The PMS also published: “To Give Shining Witness” (1981) and “Mission” and the Philippines—Past, Present, Future by Francis X. Clark, SJ (1981).

            Bishop Rosales and the PMS sponsored a special issue of 100,000 copies of The Missions Newsletter, featuring the life of Pope John Paul II; it was freely distributed in advance of the Pope’s visit in 1981. The year 1981 marked the first time that an RVM sister began working at the PMS.  Gaudencio B. Rosales was appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Malaybalay, Bukidnon on June 9, 1982.  This loyal PMS servant became a cardinal on March 24, 2006.