World Mission Sunday

World Mission Sunday was instituted by Pope Pius XI in 1926 and was first commemorated in 1927. It is celebrated on the next-to-last Sunday in October. Donations are collected at Mass on this Sunday and all of the funds collected go to support missionary activity in countries where the Church is new, young or poor.

Since 1922, the Pontifical Mission Societies have been the official missionary arm of the Catholic Church charged with the work of evangelization and charitable works throughout the world. These Mission Societies provide mission awareness and raise funds for the poorest mission churches of the Catholic Church. Mission Societies exist through the generosity of Catholics and play a crucial role in combating poverty, disease, injustice and exploitation.

The World Mission Sunday collection in Canada for 2013 was used to support programs in Bangladesh, India, Nigeria and Pakistan as well as the CCCB Pastoral Fund.  Each year the collections are sent to the National Office of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith in Toronto. Every year in May, National Directors from around the world meet in Rome to approve projects submitted for financial assistance. The money is then sent directly from the National Office to the country of the approved project. For more information about specific projects, go to www.missionsocieties.ca

As Pope Francis said in his message for World Mission Day 2014, which was delivered from the Vatican on Pentecost Sunday,

“God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor 9:7). World Mission Day is also an occasion to rekindle the desire and the moral obligation to take joyful part in the mission ad gentes. A monetary contribution on the part of individuals is the sign of a self-offering, first to the Lord and then to others; in this way a material offering can become a means for the evangelization of humanity built on love.

Dear brothers and sisters, on this World Mission Day my thoughts turn to all the local Churches. Let us not be robbed of the joy of evangelization! I invite you to immerse yourself in the joy of the Gospel and nurture a love that can light up your vocation and your mission. I urge each of you to recall, as if you were making an interior pilgrimage, that “first love” with which the Lord Jesus Christ warmed your heart, not for the sake of nostalgia but in order to persevere in joy. The Lord’s disciples persevere in joy when they sense his presence, do his will and share with others their faith, hope and evangelical charity.

Let us pray through the intercession of Mary, the model of humble and joyful evangelization, that the Church may become a welcoming home, a mother for all peoples and the source of rebirth for our world.

Canadian Catholics last year opened their hearts to the less fortunate of the world and supported programs which provided catechesis and evangelization as well as the construction or restoration of churches, chapels, convents and rectories. Please continue to support World Missions through your prayers and generous financial support.