Faithful called to unite on World Mission Sunday

September 23, 2014

HOUSTON — On World Mission Sunday, Catholics of the world unite at Mass to recommit themselves to the common vocation to be missionaries and offer concrete gestures of support through a second collection.

“Pope Francis encourages us to joyfully engage in the Church’s mission to make disciples of all nations, grounded in our love for Jesus and our concern for the needs of the most disadvantaged,” Daniel Cardinal DiNardo said. “I pray that World Mission Sunday offers each one of us an opportunity to share the joy of the Gospel and help the poor by our fervent prayer and through our generous hearts.”

The Mass for World Mission Sunday will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 19, at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church, 18223 Point Lookout Dr. in Nassau Bay. 

Father Brendan Cahill, director, Secretariat for Clergy Formation and Chaplaincy Services, will be the celebrant. Exhibits from about 15 local mission groups and refreshments will follow the Mass.

On the weekend of Oct. 18 and 19, a second collection at Archdiocesan parishes will be taken in support of the Pontifical Mission Societies in celebration of World Mission Sunday.

The Pontifical Mission Societies include the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, the Missionary Childhood Association, the Society of St. Peter the Apostle and the Missionary Union Priests and Religious.

The mission societies bring support and assistance to places like Mongolia, where the young Church is growing, filled with zeal for the faith, but lack the resources for its outreach to families and those in need.

“This year, the theme for World Mission Sunday is ‘I will build my Church (Matthew 16:18),’ as it focuses on the Church in Mongolia, the world’s youngest Catholic Church,” Hilda Ochoa, director of Archdiocesan Mission Office, said. “I trust that the faithful of our Archdiocese will commit and respond, as they do every year, in prayer and sacrifice, to the growing spiritual and material needs of the Catholic Church in the most remote places of the world.”

In Mongolia, the assistance will help build new schools and churches, train catechesis, run medical centers and provide for English and skills training classes, and homes for children with disabilities and who are homeless.

The Pontifical Mission Societies have a special responsibility in the universal Church. 

They are under the direct canonical jurisdiction of Pope Francis, and together with the entire body of bishops, remind the faithful of their baptisimal call to mission, as they gather basic support for more than 1,150 mission dioceses in Asia, Africa, Europe, the Pacific Islands and Latin America. 

The collection assists the mission societies to support:
- 9,000 clinics caring for the sick and dying.
- 10,000 orphanages, providing a place of safety and shelter.
- 900,000 children in some of the poorest parts of the world, receiving an education and the knowledge of God’s love.
- 80,000 seminarians preparing for the priesthood.
- 9,000 religious sisters and brothers in formation programs.

Pope Francis reminds Catholics that they are called to support, in prayer and sacrifice, the Church’s mission to bring that joy to people everywhere. 

“The Church is called to transmit the joy of the Lord to her children,” he said.