World Mission Sunday is the one day in the year when the entire Church comes together to pray for and offer practical support for mission. This year it takes place on 20th October and is accompanied by another global event. 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 (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’. A century later, the call is as urgent as ever. This is an opportunity for all of us to reflect on and pray for the Church’s mission, and for the whole Church to realise that in our rapidly changing world the Gospel is needed now more than ever.
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.
As Fr Anthony Chantry, Missio’s National Director, explains: ‘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 the 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 EMM2019, joining our sisters and brothers around the world in faith and renewal.