World Mission Sunday promotes evangelization, charity on Oct. 20

October 15, 2013

HOUSTON — Like the faithful around the world, the faithful in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston are being called on to give, perform acts of charity and reflect in observance of World Missions Sunday on Oct. 20.

The Mass for World Mission Sunday will be celebrated at St. Ignatius Loyola Catholic Church, 7810 Cypresswood Dr., in Spring at 11 a.m. Father Brendan Cahill, Director, Secretariat for Clergy Formation and Chaplaincy Services, will be the celebrant. Mission exhibits and refreshments will follow the Mass in the Christus Center Hall.

Archdiocesan parishes will take a second collection this weekend to support the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, which distributes funds through Rome’s Pontifical Mission Societies to the world’s neediest and for evangelization around the world. 

“World Missions Sunday is a time when the Church gathers as one during the Eucharist to reflect upon our call to be missionaries, on what God is calling us to do and how we will respond,” Hilda Ochoa, director of Archdiocesan Mission Office, said. “The Society for the Propagation of the Faith offers us a great way to respond to the needs of the poorest of the poor around the world.”

Ochoa hopes the Archdiocesan faithful will be as generous this year as they have been in years past. 

She said the needs of the missions continue to grow, with new dioceses and seminaries to support and more areas devastated by war or natural disasters to help out.

The funds raised provide resources for more than 1,150 mission dioceses and territories, hundreds of orphanages and medical clinics and go towards preparation and formation of priests and nuns. 

Last year, for every $100 distributed by the Pontifical Mission Societies, $63 went to Africa to help fund the growth of the Church, $29 to Asia to support the increasing vocations, $4 to remote areas in Latin America, $3 to the Pacific Islands and $1 for restoration of the Church in Eastern Europe. The Archdiocese’s contribution last year totaled $363,000. 

“We are called most especially on this weekend to keep the poor and those most in need close in mind and heart,” Daniel Cardinal DiNardo said. “Jesus commissioned his apostles and told them, ‘As the Father has sent me, so I have sent you.’ To participate in the mission of Christ, sent by the Father, is the eternal challenge and privilege of all the faithful.” 

In a recent address, Pope Francis appealed to all those who feel the calling to respond generously and give according to their means and for churches rich in vocations to give more generously than those that lack them.

“I also invite bishops, religious families, communities and all Christian groups to support, with foresight and careful discernment, the missionary call ad gentes (Second Vatican Council’s Decree on the Missionary Activity of the Church) and to assist churches that need priests, religious and laity, thus strengthening the Christian community,” Pope Francis said.

Ochoa said the event is special because Catholics worldwide join together for a common cause. “What makes this day special is that we are united with all Catholics around the world celebrating within the context of the Eucharist,” she said.