Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
World Mission Sunday will be observed on the weekend of October 19-20. The message for this year is “Do Good on Earth”, taken from the words of St. Therese of Lisieux, the patroness of the missions. It is a call to put our faith into action and acknowledge, as Pope Francis stated, “the emphasis of how the missionary task, that of broadening the boundaries of faith, belongs to every baptized person.” (Homily, 19 May 2013, Pentecost)
The observance of World Mission Sunday is an opportunity for all people to be united through prayer, love and understanding. It is a time to recognize the many men and women who faithfully serve and minister to the people of God in more than 1,150 mission dioceses throughout the world. With little or no resources, they are the present day missionaries of our Church. They continue to bring the sacraments, the living Word of God and the gift of God’s grace to those who are most vulnerable.
Through the work of our Mission Office/The Society for the Propagation of the Faith, our World Mission Sunday celebration and collection connects us with the loving work of missionaries throughout the world, for we are all missionaries. The office shares directly in the work of the Holy See, with all missions and all peoples of the world. As our Holy Father Pope Francis states, “The Church’s missionary spirit is not about proselytizing, but the testimony of a life that illuminates the path, which brings hope and love.” He goes on to say that “Missionary spirit is not only about geographical territories, but about peoples, cultures and individuals, because the ‘boundaries’ of faith do not only cross places and human traditions, but the heart of every man and woman.”(Homily, 19 May 2013, Pentecost). This quote definitely reflects my personal views about mission and the important role mission can play in changing hearts and challenging world views.
I pray that World Mission Sunday will touch each and every one of you deeply and unite us in providing true assistance and prayers where needed most in the world today. Please join me in helping to make World Mission Sunday a resounding success. On behalf of all those who will benefit from your generous gifts, I thank you.
With kind personal regards, I remain,
Sincerely yours in Christ,
+John F. Kinney
Bishop of St. Cloud