Called by Jesus’s final proclamation to “go out and share the Good News with all people” the Missionary Vocation is a unique one, and the PIME Missionary Vocation requires a sense of adventure all its own.
“The Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions is a society of apostolic life: a community of priests (who do not take vows, much like diocesan priests), brothers, and lay people who dedicate their lives entirely to the proclamation of the Gospel and to humanitarian aid for people from different countries, with a preference for people who are marginalized both a geographically and socially. PIME Missionaries dedicate themselves to a variety of activities that depends on the environment of their mission, the needs of the local church, and their own talents all with a common objective: to bear witness to Christ.
Currently, PIME has 450 members with 5 associate members (priests of another order working with PIME) serving in 18 countries worldwide. In the century and a half that it has existed, PIME has sent more than 2,000 missionaries to different continents; among these missionaries, PIME can count 70 bishops, apostolic prefects and vicars. An international community, we list members from countries all around the world among our fellow missionaries. In addition to all these PIME has given 19 martyrs, seven beatified, and one saint to the missions.
The PIME charism is made up of four elements:
Latin for “To the People”
The primary recipients of the work of the PIME Missionaries are those who do not know the Gospel. The basis of PIME’s work is proclaiming God’s Kingdom; supporting the development and growth of young Catholic communities in and around their area of operation, promoting active participation in the evangelization of non-Christians.
Latin for “Abroad”
PIME Missionaries are sent from their homeland. Since PIME is an exclusively missionary institute, all its work is implemented outside of each missionary’s birthplace, and realized among people and groups who have not heard the word of the Messiah.
Latin for “For the Duration of One's Life”
The PIME Missionaries dedicate themselves to their mission for life, because the task entrusted to them requires their complete dedication.
Italian for “Together”
The Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions defines itself as a "family of apostles". The members of PIME, both priests and brothers, are united by the same vocation and charism. Being a part of PIME means living the charism together, and accepting the responsibility of all confreres who have made the same choice.
Nurturing Spiritually and Physically
The role of the PIME Priest is that of the classic, Catholic Missionary Vocation. A father to his community, his role is the greatest given in the Catholic Church: a shepherd to a young flock, often in an unknown territory, possibly hostile to their religion. A PIME Priest manages the humanitarian and survival needs of his flock, while addressing the spiritual and sacramental concerns. With a focus on building a Catholic community from the ground up, generally with nothing but the clothes on his back, the PIME Priest adopts new languages, new cultures and whatever else is necessary to share the light of God, and the warmth of his love and kindness.
A Lifetime Commitment at the Service of Others
PIME Priests can distribute the Sacraments and share Christ’s likeness in that way, but PIME Religious Brothers share His likeness in their stalwart commitment to hard work and gentle kindness. PIME Brothers witness Christ in a glorious way all their own: with His same strong and yet gentle charity. Using the skills and talents of their profession, PIME Brothers move mountains to give the people of their mission what they need. PIME Brothers organize the building of hospitals and clinics; distribute aid; dig wells and water pumps; teach trades to the poor and much more, all while living and experiencing life with the poorest of the poor.
PIME Lay Missionaries
An Experience Like Nothing Else
Individuals, married couples, and families have the unique opportunity of entering into a contract to serve the people of the missions just like the religious of PIME. Becoming PIME Missionaries themselves, Lay Missionaries serve in the missions using their special skills (like PIME Brothers) in order to help the people of their adopted homeland.