Catholics Celebrate World Mission Sunday
The theme of this year’s World Mission Day – “We cannot but speak about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20), is a summons to each of us to “own” and to bring to others what we bear in our hearts. This mission has always been the hallmark of the Church, for “she exists to evangelize” (SAINT PAUL VI, Evangelii Nuntiandi, 14). Our life of faith grows weak, loses its prophetic power and its ability to awaken amazement and gratitude when we become isolated and withdraw into little groups. By its very nature, the life of faith calls for a growing openness to embracing everyone, everywhere. The first Christians, far from yielding to the temptation to become an elite group, were inspired by the Lord and his offer of new life to go out among the nations and to bear witness to what they had seen and heard: the good news that the Kingdom of God is at hand. They did so with the generosity, gratitude and nobility typical of those who sow seeds in the knowledge that others will enjoy the fruit of their efforts and sacrifice. I like to think that “even those who are most frail, limited and troubled can be missionaries in their own way, for goodness can always be shared, even if it exists alongside many limitations” (Christus Vivit, 239)
In 1926, Pope Pius XI established an annual collection for the missionary work of the Church worldwide called “World Mission Sunday.” World Mission Sunday, organized by the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, is a day set aside for Catholics worldwide to recommit themselves to the Church’s missionary activity through prayer and sacrifice.
As described by Pope John Paul II, World Mission Sunday is “an important day in the life of the Church because it teaches how to give: as an offering made to God, in the Eucharistic celebration and for all the missions of the world” (Redemptoris Missio 81).
The Society for the Propagation of the Faith is entrusted with the promotion of World Mission Sunday, collection of the proceeds, and distribution of the proceeds. As a representative of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, the Mission Office in St. Louis sends the proceeds to the National Office of the Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States. Offerings from Catholics in the United States, on World Mission Sunday and throughout the year, are combined with offerings to the Society for the Propagation of the Faith worldwide.
Where Does your World Mission Sunday Gift Help?
*1,200 schools, educating children in some of the poorest parts of the world *9,000 clinics caring for the sick and dying *9,000 religious sisters and brothers in formation programs *10,000 orphanages, providing a place of safety and shelter *30,000 seminarians preparing for the priesthood.