World Mission Sunday joins all Catholics of the world into one community of faith. At Mass that Sunday, we recommit ourselves to our common vocation through baptism to be missionaries.
Christians are called to share God’s love and mercy with all people. The first and most important way to share the Gospel with others is by living it. Being a missionary disciple, Pope Francis said in a talk on World Mission Sunday in 2019, does not mean “conquering, mandating, proselytizing,” but rather “witnessing, humbling oneself alongside other disciples and offering with love the love that we ourselves received.”
“Our mission,” he said, is “to give pure and fresh air to those immersed in the pollution of our world; to bring to earth that peace which fills us with joy whenever we meet Jesus on the mountain in prayer; to show by our lives, and perhaps even by our words, that God loves everyone and never tires of anyone.”
Through our prayers and financial support, we bring the Lord’s mercy and concrete help to the most vulnerable communities in the Pope’s missions through the Society for the Propagation of the Faith.
The theme of this year’s World Mission Day — “We cannot but speak about what we have seen and heard” from Acts 4:20 is a summons to each person to — ‘own’ and bring to others what we bear in our hearts, Pope Francis stated in this year’ message for World Mission Sunday.
The Society for the Propagation of the Faith is entrusted with the promotion of World Mission Sunday, collection of the proceeds, and distribution of the proceeds. Mission dioceses — about 1,111 at this time — receive regular annual assistance from the funds collected.
These mission dioceses submit requests to the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and Pontifical Mission Societies for assistance for needs such as catechetical programs, seminaries, the work of religious communities, communication and transportation needs, and the building of chapels, churches, orphanages and schools. These needs are matched with the funds gathered in each year. The world’s national directors of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith vote on these requests, matching the funds available with the greatest needs. The funds are then distributed in their entirety to mission dioceses throughout the world.
While the support of the missions on this day is important, it shouldn’t be the only time we support missionaries or work for the mission of the Church. Everything we have received from the Lord is meant to be put to good use and freely shared with others. As Pope Francis stressed, Christians cannot keep the Lord to ourselves; the Church’s evangelizing mission finds outward fulfilment in the transformation of our world and in the care of creation.