WelCom October 2022
Mission Month and World Mission Sunday – 23 October 2022
Fr Bernard Espiritu svd
Our 2022 Mission Month/Sunday poster captured the gathering of religious leaders, with Pope Francis leading them to come together in prayer. It happened in Rome to pray for the victims of war and the pandemic. Witnessing to Christ finds its right direction when it starts with a prayer, an acknowledgement that mission work is a partnership of humans with our God. Our mission is participation in the Mission of God.
‘You shall be my witnesses’ (Acts 1:8). This is the theme of October Mission Month 2022. Pope Francis points to three Christian truths behind these words of the Master.
1. Mission is every Christian’s call to bear witness to Christ.
2. Our mission to evangelise is to give life to all.
3. The Holy Spirit empowers, strengthens, and guides each missionary-disciple.
This year marks the 200 years of the initial founding of the Society of the Propagation of Faith. It all started when the 18‐year‐old Pauline‐Marie Jaricot of Lyon, France, gathered a small group of 15 workers in her father’s silk clothes’ factory. She asked each one to commit to praying daily a decade of the Rosary for the missions, and each one also contributed a penny a week. Their aim was a decade of Rosary daily and a penny weekly. The monies were collected and sent to the missions. And all the 15 decades of the Rosary are prayed daily. This group model grew throughout Lyon and then spread to all parts of the diocese and then the whole of France.
Mission Month grew out of this background. It was the beginning of the Propagation of the Faith, which on May 3, 1922, Pope Pius XI declared the Society for the Propagation of the Faith ‘Pontifical’.
Mission Month/Sunday is a time to pray and give, also, from the heart that the mission of God to evangelise becomes the heartbeat of our mission. God’s Mission is Our Mission.