World Mission Sunday – the one Sunday in the year when the entire global Church comes together in support of mission – will happen on 20 October this year. And this year, it is running alongside another exciting global event!
His Holiness, Pope Francis, has declared October 2019 to be a special month of prayer and action, to strengthen and grow God’s mission through the Church.
The Extraordinary Month of Mission 2019 marks the 100th anniversary of Pope Benedict XV’s Apostolic Letter, Maximum Illud, which Pope Francis describes as ‘a milestone in the evolution of the Church’s missionary work’. And a century later, the call to missio ad gentes is as urgent as ever. This is an incredible opportunity for all of us to reflect on and pray for the Church’s mission, and for the whole Church to fully realise that in our rapidly changing world the Gospel is needed now more than ever!
Missio: today, tomorrow, together
As the Pope’s official charity for world mission, Missio enables Catholics in England and Wales to live out the call received at Baptism: to share in the Church’s universal mission.
And in the Extraordinary Month of Mission 2019, Missio will be here to help individuals, schools, organisations, dioceses, parishes, communities, orders and congregations in England and Wales to get behind this worldwide Church initiative.
Fr Anthony Chantry, Missio’s National Director, says, “All of us who believe in Jesus Christ as Son of God and Saviour received our faith from God through those missionaries, who long ago left their homes and families to share their faith with those in foreign lands. Their sharing usually took place in the context of serving those in need, especially the poor and oppressed, thus demonstrating the character and power of God’s love in our world.
“I have seen the fruit of that work in many countries in Africa and Asia, where there is a host of young and dynamic Catholic communities committed to following Jesus Christ. Yet we must not make the mistake of assuming that mission abroad has no place in our modern world. “The Holy Father challenges us to be in a permanent state of mission, for ‘each of us is a mission to the world, for each of us is the fruit of God’s love’ (Message for World Mission Sunday, 2019).
“I hope that this month will help us all to look back in thanksgiving for all that has been achieved by the missionary work of the Church and look forward with hope to a future when all peoples will know the saving and liberating love of Jesus Christ.”
Missio invites everyone to get involved in the Extraordinary Month of Mission 2019, joining our sisters and brothers around the world in faith and renewal. Find out more at missio.org.uk/emm and see how you can get involved – personally and as a community – in this special celebration of mission. You can find out more about World Mission Sunday at missio.org.uk/wms.