PROVIDENCE — World Mission Sunday, celebrating Catholic missions and missionaries of the world, will be observed on October 23. The event is a unique, global effort for the entire Church to provide for the building up of over a thousand churches in Asia and Africa, the Pacific Islands, and parts of Latin America and Europe.
Each year, Pope Francis designates the month of October as World Mission Month, and the next-to-last Sunday in October as World Mission Sunday. On that Sunday, Catholics are united in celebration of the common vocation to mission, focusing on the pope’s missions around the world and the missionaries who dedicate themselves to their service. This year’s theme is “You shall be my witnesses” (Acts 1:8).
In a recent letter, Bishop Thomas J. Tobin encouraged both spiritual and financial generosity from local parishioners on World Mission Sunday.
“Your prayers remain your greatest gift, and your financial support is life-giving to our brothers and sisters in the world’s most vulnerable communities,” the bishop said.
A gift on World Mission Sunday sustains priests, religious and lay pastoral leaders in more than 1,100 mission dioceses around the world, as they help to build the Church and serve the poor.
“When you contribute to the World Mission Sunday collection, you make it possible for the Holy Father to provide for the formation of seminarians and religious men and women,” explained Bishop Tobin.
“You assist in building the schools and orphanages that care for children in distant lands. Missionaries can build churches in areas with scarce resources. Priests and religious Brothers and Sisters can buy food and other essentials that make it possible to proclaim the Gospel and celebrate the Sacraments.”
In 1926, Pope Pius XI instituted Mission Sunday for the whole Church with the first worldwide Mission Sunday collection taking place in October 1927. That day is celebrated in all the local churches as the feast of Catholicity and universal solidarity so Christians the world over will recognize their common responsibility in evangelizing to the world.
In the Diocese of Providence, the Society for the Propagation of the Faith helps to support those who respond to the call of the Lord to go out far and wide all over the world and to help the church in need where there is not enough local support. World Mission Sunday is a major focus of this office’s local outreach and evangelization.
To contribute to the World Mission Sunday Collection, send your tax-deductible donation to: Society of the Propagation of the Faith, One Cathedral Square, Providence, R.I. 02903. For more information, call 401-278-4520 or visit dioceseofprovidence.org/society-for-the-propagation-of-the-faith.