World Mission Sunday

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 taken up in Canada in 2014 was used to support programs in Ghana, Gambia, Nigeria and Zambia as well as to support 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 2015, which was delivered from the Vatican on Pentecost Sunday,

The World Mission Sunday 2015 takes place in the context of the Year of Consecrated Life, which provides a further stimulus for prayer and reflection. For if every baptized person is called to bear witness to the Lord Jesus by proclaiming the faith received as a gift, this is especially so for each consecrated man and woman. There is a clear connection between consecrated life and mission. The desire to follow Jesus closely, which led to the emergence of consecrated life in the Church, responds to his call to take up the cross and follow him, to imitate his dedication to the Father and his service and love, to lose our life so as to gain it. Since Christ’s entire existence had a missionary character, so too, all those who follow him closely must possess this missionary quality.

Dear brothers and sisters, a true missionary is passionate for the Gospel. Saint Paul said: “Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel!” (1 Cor 9:16). The Gospel is the source of joy, liberation and salvation for all men and women. The Church is aware of this gift, and therefore she ceaselessly proclaims to everyone “what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes” (1 Jn 1:1). The mission of the servants of the Word – bishops, priests, religious and laity – is to allow everyone, without exception, to enter into a personal relationship with Christ. In the full range of the Church’s missionary activity, all the faithful are called to live their baptismal commitment to the fullest, in accordance with the personal situation of each. A generous response to this universal vocation can be offered by consecrated men and women through an intense life of prayer and union with the Lord and his redeeming sacrifice.

To Mary, Mother of the Church and model of missionary outreach, I entrust all men and women who, in every state of life work to proclaim the Gospel, ad gentes or in their own lands. To all missionaries of the Gospel I willingly impart my Apostolic Blessing.

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 buildings such as churches, chapels, convents, and rectories. Please continue to support World Missions through your prayers and generous financial support.