“Let us not close our hearts within our own particular concerns,
but let us open them to all of humanity.”
– Pope Francis, Message for World Mission Sunday, 2016
Every year on the next-to-last Sunday of October, October 23rd this year, the Church reflects its deepest identity as MISSION. As we pray and respond on World Mission Sunday here at home, we share in those celebrations taking place in every parish, seminary, school and convent all over the world. Together with our brothers and sisters in the Missions we offer our prayers and sacrifices so that others may come to know Jesus… and to experience His mercy as we express our merciful concern for those in greatest need! This day provides an opportunity to support the life-giving presence of the Church among the poor and marginalized in more than 1,111 mission dioceses.
In early 19th century France, a young laywoman, Pauline Jaricot became inspired by news from the missions of her day. She began gathering together small groups, mostly workers in her family’s silk factory. She asked each member of the group to offer daily prayer and a weekly sacrifice of a sou (the equivalent of a penny at that time), insisting that her efforts be for all the Church’s missions. From Pauline’s vision came the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. The first collection in 1822 supported the vast diocese of Louisiana, and the missions of Kentucky and China. Your prayers and generous support directly benefit the mission Church today — places where the young church is growing, filled with zeal for the faith, but lacking resources for its outreach to families and those in need.
From Pope Francis Message for World Mission Day: “This Jubilee year marks the 90th anniversary of World Missionary Day, first approved by Pope Pius XI in 1926 and organized by the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith. It is appropriate then to recall the wise instructions of my Predecessors who ordered that to this Society be destined all the offerings collected in every diocese, parish, religious community, association and ecclesial movement throughout the world for the care of Christian communities in need and for supporting the proclamation of the Gospel even to the ends of the earth. Today too we believe in this sign of missionary ecclesial communion. Let us not close our hearts within our own particular concerns, but let us open them to all of humanity.”