News

World Mission Sunday

17/10/2011 9:00 am

People often overlook the poor in their midst. World Mission Sunday on 23 October helps to remind them that they are neither forgotten nor unimportant. It is one day each year when the whole Catholic world unites in supporting missionaries such as Sr Patricia Speight, whose photograph and story feature in the World Mission Sunday material sent out to the parishes. The missionaries’ concern for the poorest in society is a powerful witness of God’s love.

Sr Patricia wrote from Kenya about a family who recently approached her for help: “Anna, 26 years old and a single mother of three children, came with her sister Mary to the Franciscan Missionary Sisters for Africa’s Love and Hope Centre in Nakuru and pleaded for me to save her life. Anna comes from a very poor family background. She lives in the slums and is unable to look for work because of her illness. She has three very young children who depend on her so much.” Mary explained: “Anna has been sick since January and has not been able to eat, even though I liquidize all her food she repeatedly brings it back. She has lost nearly 3 stone in weight. The clinic hasn’t been able to do anything.”

Sr Patricia and her Community of Franciscan Missionary Sisters for Africa helped to find Anna the medical care she needed and remain alongside her in her suffering. Just as their faith in God keeps them going, so it is also their example which tells others that they are not alone in their struggle for survival: God is with them. To know and love Jesus is to share him with others.

In his Message for World Mission Sunday 2011, Pope Benedict points out that “Through co-responsible participation in the Church’s mission, the Christian becomes a builder of communion, of peace and of the solidarity that Christ has given us, and he or she collaborates in fulfilling God’s plan of salvation for all humanity. The challenges it meets call Christians to journey together with others, and mission is an integral part of this journey with all. In it, albeit in clay pots, we bring our Christian vocation, the priceless treasure of the Gospel, the living witness to Jesus dead and risen, met and believed in the Church.”

World Mission Sunday, which, in 2011, falls on 23 October, is the special day each year when, through Missio, Catholics across the world reach out in global solidarity to its younger and struggling members. It is the day when Catholics across England and Wales help the Churches of Africa and Asia in their responsibility for building faith communities, as well as supporting their 11,814 health care facilities, 4,722 orphanages, 3,577 homes for the elderly and disabled, 19,581,694 Primary School plus 9,864,576 Secondary and High School pupils and 633,348 university students.

Offerings from Catholics in England and Wales, on World Mission Sunday, and throughout the year, are combined with offerings to the Association for the Propagation of the Faith (APF) from Catholics worldwide. Mission dioceses - about 1,069 - receive regular annual assistance from the funds collected. This year, the money collected in England and Wales through World Mission Sunday 2010 and the APF amounted to £3,257,107 and supported 39 dioceses in 5 countries.

Background

Missio is the Church’s official support organisation for overseas mission. It is responsible for promoting World Mission Sunday which occurs this year on 23 October. This is the principal celebration of the Church’s commitment to proclaiming the Gospel to all peoples. It is also an opportunity for every parish in the world to contribute to Missio’s support for missions and missionaries.

Contact

Email: communications@missio.org.uk
Tel: 020 7821 9755

To learn more about Missio, go to www.missio.org.uk

Pope Benedict XVI's message for World Mission Sunday 2011

World Mission Sunday 2011 Downloads