October 21, World Mission Sunday, 2018, marks the beginning of the Extraordinary Year of Mission in Philadelphia. Pope Francis called for an “Extraordinary Missionary Month” to be celebrated in October, 2019 with the goal of fostering an increased awareness of our baptismal call to be Missionary.
In light of this request by the Holy Father, Archbishop Charles Chaput proclaimed an Extraordinary Year of Mission. The weekend of World Mission Sunday and the year is dedicated to renew the faithful’s Baptismal Call to be Missionary.
For this year, what does this mean? What is being asked of our faithful in the pew to do?
Pray • Support • Learn more to Tell Others
Pray one Hail Mary each day for a Missionary.
Save a $1 week to help the needs of a family living in a Mission land. This is important as most families live on $2 a week.
Learn more about the Missions and the people they serve who are supported by the Societies to tell others.
Annually, World Mission Sunday is celebrated on the next-to-last Sunday in October. As described by Pope John Paul II, World Mission Sunday is “an important day in the life of the Church because it teaches how to give: as an offering made to God, in the Eucharistic celebration and for all the missions of the world”
Every year the needs of the Catholic Church in the Missions grow – as new dioceses are formed, as new seminaries are opened because of the growing number of young men hearing Christ’s call to follow Him as priests, as areas devastated by war or natural disaster are rebuilt, and as other areas, long suppressed, are opening up to hear the message of Christ and His Church. That is why the involvement and commitment of Catholics from around the world is so urgently needed. Offerings from Catholics in the United States, on World Mission Sunday and throughout the year, are combined with offerings to the Pontifical Mission Societies worldwide.
Mission Dioceses – 1,111 dioceses – receive regular annual assistance from the funds collected. In addition, these Mission Dioceses submit requests to the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples for assistance, among other needs, for catechetical programs, seminaries, the work of Religious Communities, for communication and transportation needs, and for the building of chapels, churches, orphanages and schools. These needs are matched with the funds gathered in each year.
Your ongoing support of the Pontifical Mission Societies is vital to the Missionaries serving dioceses throughout Asia, Africa, parts of Latin America and Europe, and on the Islands of the Pacific. Your generosity makes it possible for local priests, religious, and catechists to reach out to communities, families and children in desperate need, bringing the light of Christ to the darkest of circumstances.
World Mission Sunday Resources
As World Mission Sunday is the beginning of the Extraordinary Year of Mission in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, learn more about the Holy Father’s Mission Month in October, 2019, which became the catalyst for the creation of the Year of Mission. And the Pope’s homily for the World Mission Sunday, 2018.
Archbishop’s 2018 Letter to the Faithful:
Dear Faithful Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Pope Francis has called for an “Extraordinary Missionary Month” to be celebrated in October, 2019 with the goal of fostering an increased awareness of our baptismal call to be Missionaries.
In light of this request by the Holy Father, I am happy to announce that beginning this World Mission Sunday, October 21, 2018, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia will dedicate the year leading up to October, 2019 as the Extraordinary Year of Mission.
On World Mission Sunday, as we begin this Extraordinary Year of Mission, you are asked for a response in the way of your prayers and help to reawaken this calling to be missionary and work with a new impulse to further the missionary transformation of life and pastoral activity. The Pontifical Mission Societies were born of devoted hearts as a means of supporting the preaching of the Gospel to every nation contributing to the human and cultural growth of all those who thirst for truth.
The prayers and the material aid generously given and distributed through the Societies enable the Holy See to ensure that those who are helped in their personal needs can in turn bear witness to the Gospel in the circumstances of their daily lives.
It is my hope during this year each one of us are frequently reminded of our vocational call, by our baptism, to be Missionaries. “We need to bring Jesus Christ to the whole world and the whole world to Jesus Christ.” I have said this before and it holds true today.
I pray that beginning on World Mission Sunday and throughout the year, each of you will pray daily, increase heartfelt generosity and sacrifice for missionaries and the people they serve, and embrace missionary discipleship.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput
To Be Missionaries, Go Forth!
If we want our faith to be fruitful, we need to bring it alive first in prayer, and then in action. The greatest way we can show love to other persons is by sharing Jesus Christ with them. And that means all of us are called to be Missionaries.
To be Missionaries, we have to go somewhere. We need to “go forth.” But Catholics often misunderstand what real Mission work involves. We think of people like the great Jesuit saint, Francis Xavier, who left his home, his family and his friends, and traveled around Asia for the rest of his life preaching the Gospel. We have a harder time seeing ourselves as Missionaries.
It’s very possible that God is calling one of you in this room today to be the next Francis Xavier. God created each of you to be a Saint; to do some special task no one else can do. The Church needs men and women who are willing to live their faith radically and heroically, and carry the Gospel into every corner of the earth.
Most of us, however, won’t be called to preach in a foreign country, or smuggle the Gospel into North Korea or Iran. Most of us will work in the Mission fields of our homes and schools, our sports teams, jobs and friends. And the work will be just as demanding as it was for Francis Xavier, even if the people and places look familiar. The mandate Jesus gave us to preach the Gospel will demand a different kind of journey — a spiritual journey out of ourselves.
Two thousand years ago, St. Paul wrote to his followers, “woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel.” 1 Cor 9:16 Those are strong words. It’s easy to mistake what he meant. It’s easy to assume that he feared God’s punishment. But Paul actually meant something very different. If we don’t share our faith with others, we begin to lose it ourselves. That’s what Paul feared. The seed of the Gospel is restless. It never sleeps. It’s always either growing or dying in our hearts, and it only grows if we witness Jesus Christ to others by our example and our words.
A lot of Catholics are embarrassed to talk about their faith. We may know that the Church calls all of us to holiness and to make the world around us holy, but we often try to wriggle out of actually doing it. It’s easier – and much more comfortable — if we don’t make a big deal about our faith in public. Even if we know a lot about our faith, even if we’re fully convinced by it, we tend to worry about other people’s reactions.
Part of the problem is that self-consciously “religious” people sometimes give religion a bad name. Sooner or later we all meet a difficult priest or a pompous televangelist or a gossiping volunteer. They’re often the first people to talk about how important religion is to them. But the best witnesses to the faith usually talk less and act more. Then when they do speak, their words are very powerful. Excerpt from Archbishop Charles Chaput: World Youth Day Catechesis July 26, 2013, Rio de Janeiro
World Mission Rosary
In February of 1951, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, national director of the Pontifical Mission Society for the Propagation of the Faith from 1950 to 1966, inaugurated a World Mission Rosary in his Catholic Hour radio address.
“We must pray, and not for ourselves, but for the world. To this end, I have designed the World Mission Rosary.Each of the five decades is of a different color to represent the continents.”
Praying this Rosary, Archbishop Sheen said, would “aid the Holy Father and his Society for the Propagation of the Faith by supplying him with practical support, as well as prayers, for the poor mission territories of the world.”
The different colored beads of each decade call to mind an area where the Church continues her evangelization efforts in Mission: GREEN for the forests of AFRICA; BLUE for the ocean surrounding the ISLANDS of the PACIFIC; WHITE symbolizing EUROPE, the seat of the Holy Father, shepherd of the world; RED, calling to mind the fire of faith that brought missionaries to the AMERICAS and YELLOW, the morning light of the East, for ASIA.
How to Pray the World Mission Rosary