As I wrote in last weekend's bulletin, it was in 1926 that Pope Pius XI, instituted World Mission Sunday for the universal Church. He asked Catholics to pray, learn about the missions and give donations for those working in mission territories as well as all the people they served. His concern was to foster a sense of responsibility in all Catholic people for supporting the Missions throughout the world. This weekend, October 23-24 is the 95th year of celebrating World Missions Sunday. Pope Francis has chosen the theme, “We cannot help but speak about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20) for this year's Mission Sunday.
As the global pandemic of COVID continues to cause suffering and loss both here in the USA and around the world, we as sisters and brothers in faith pause to pray and be in solidarity with our neighbors throughout the world. Through our celebration of Mission Sunday we actively participate in the mission of Jesus Christ to “go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15)
The annual World Mission Sunday second collection provides critical financial support to missionaries and communities of faith in the most economically disadvantaged regions of the globe. Working with limited means, these local churches bear witness to the Gospel amid scarcity, conflict and instability. The Church’s missionaries address all forms of material and spiritual needs to build up the church, affirm human dignity, alleviate poverty, encourage dialogue and inspire hope.
The World Mission Sunday collection provides:
- Approximately 75 percent to the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, which helps sustain over 1,000 mission dioceses in Africa, Asia and remote areas of Latin America and the Pacific Islands.
- About 9 percent for the Catholic Near East Welfare Association to alleviate poverty, foster Christian unity and promote interreligious dialogue in the Middle East, Northeast Africa, India and Eastern Europe.
- About 15 percent to the basic operations of the Global Mission Office of the Archdiocese of Chicago, which facilitates, resources, and supports efforts to reach out in love and solidarity globally.
In his message for World Mission Sunday Pope Francis says, “As Christians, we cannot keep the Lord to ourselves: the Church’s evangelizing mission finds outward fulfilment in the transformation of our world and in the care of creation.” Let our celebration reinvigorate us to continue to walk with one another in this ongoing pandemic and transform our world with Christ’s compassion. If you are able, place a donation to support mission dioceses it in the collection basket this weekend during the second collection or you can make a donation online at WeAreMissionary.org/wms.
We recently received a letter from Cardinal Cupich regarding World Mission Sunday. I have copied the letter below for your further information about World Mission Sunday.
October 24, 2021
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Today we are reminded in two ways to be persistent missionary disciples of Jesus Christ. In his message for World Mission Sunday, the Holy Father encourages us, “As Christians, we cannot keep the Lord to ourselves: the Church’s evangelizing mission finds outward fulfilment in the transformation of our world and in the care of creation.” At the same time, with the opening of the Synodal Process around the world, Pope Francis invites the entire Church to reflect on a theme that is decisive for its life and mission: “It is precisely this path of synodality which God expects of the Church of the third millennium” (Address for the ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of the institution of the Synod of Bishops, 17 October 2015).
We celebrate World Mission Sunday with the Universal Church on October 24, offering prayer and reflection on our mission to proclaim the gospel to all the nations. The collection taken this day supports over 1,000 mission dioceses through the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. These local churches are the poorest in the world and yet they joyfully share the Lord and provide hope amidst struggles in Africa, Asia and remote areas of Latin America and the Pacific Islands. The collection also provides for mission dioceses in the Middle East, Northeast Africa, India and Eastern Europe through the Catholic Near East Welfare Association.
Also, during this time, The Church of God is convoked in Synod. Today, the Archdiocese of Chicago is celebrating the opening of the process for the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, in October 2023. The theme of this synod is “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission” and so is intimately tied to our celebration of World Mission.
This global pandemic has highlighted the peripheries of our world and the importance of widening our circles to reach out to neighbors both nearby and far away. Let this celebration of World Mission Sunday and the opening of the Synodal Process be an opportunity for pause and prayerful solidarity with our sisters and brothers in faith around the world. May we give thanks for their witness and recommit ourselves to our own call to be missionary disciples. With every wish, I remain.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Blase Cardinal Cupich
Archbishop of Chicago
On behalf of missionaries throughout the world, I wish you God's blessings for your generosity. If you want to learn more about the Franciscans work in the Amazon region of Brazil and the presence of the friars with the Mundurujú people of Brazil ask Br. Vagner or Br. Erlison to share some of their experiences as members of the Custody of St. Benedict of the Amazon.
As we quickly are approaching the month of November just a couple of items. We will once again have a Book of the Dead placed in church during the month of November to remember our loved ones who have died. Feel free to write in those you wish to remember. November 1 is the holyday of All Saints. This year it is NOT a day of obligation. We however encourage you to attend Mass and remember all the saints we have known in our life. On November 2 we will remember all of our deceased relatives and friends at the Masses for All Souls.
Please continue to observe all safety protocols so that together we all might continue to do everything we can to help eliminate the danger of COVID to others and hopefully soon return to some semblance of normality. Don't forget to get your COVID vaccine and also a FLU shot. Let's all do everything we can to keep one another healthy in the coming Chicago winter season!