On 2nd October, hundreds of pupils from schools in the diocese journeyed to Westminster Cathedral for Mass. Coordinated by the children's branch of Missio, Mission Together, it provided an introduction for them into the Extraordinary Month of Mission declared by Pope Francis. The Mass was dedicated to St Thérèse of Lisieux, patroness of mission and one of the focuses of the homily given by the principal celebrant, Fr Anthony Chantry, Missio’s National Director, who unpacked what mission was to the children. He also touched on the story of Johannes, a young boy from South Africa whom Mission Together is following for the next year.
The pupils were encouraged to participate in different ways: playing instruments and singing, reading, carrying their school’s banner, and joining in with a signed version of the official prayer of Mission Together. The pupils who did so, from Our Lady and St Joseph School in Poplar, were ably led by Fr Keith Stoakes. At the end of Mass, each school was presented with a candle to take back home with which they processed out of the cathedral.
The Extraordinary Month of Mission (EMM2019) 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’. 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.
Photos can be seen at bit.ly/MissioMass