PROVIDENCE — World Mission Sunday, a worldwide Eucharistic celebration that strengthens the call to service issued to the faithful through their baptism, will be celebrated on Oct. 24. During Masses that day, a collection will be taken to support the Society for the Propagation of the Faith that helps to meet the material needs of their missions around the world.
In reflecting on the theme for this year’s celebration, “We cannot but speak about what we have seen and heard,” (Acts 4:20), Pope Francis has called to mind the exceptional difficulties the world has experienced from the ravages of COVID-19.
“The global pandemic has brought to the fore and amplified the pain, the solitude, the poverty and the injustices experienced by so many people,” the Holy Father said.
Bishop Thomas J. Tobin, in offering his gratitude to those reaching out with love to do good works throughout Mission Month, encouraged the faithful to respond to the extraordinary needs brought on by the pandemic.
“This year, as the world recovers from the loss and the challenges that resulted, let us respond with reciprocal generosity to the fullest extent that we are able,” the bishop said.
He asked people to give as generously as possible to the collection for the Society for the Propagation of the Faith that will be taken up in parishes across the diocese.
“Your gifts support and sustain priests, religious and lay pastoral leaders in more than 1,200 mission dioceses in Asia, Africa, the Pacific Islands and parts of Latin America and Europe as they proclaim the Gospel, build the Church, serve the poor — and speak of our shared faith in all corners of the world,” Bishop Tobin said.
Father Francesco Francese, the diocesan director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, said the donations given to the collection do much good around the world.
“The Church in need receives help to provide formation for their priests, to educate children, support hospitals and arrange for missionaries to visit parishes,” he said.
He noted that just over 200 years ago a faithful Catholic from France saw the need for the support of missionaries and started providing for them herself.
Pauline Jaricot consecrated her life to God with a solemn vow in the chapel of the Virgin of Fourvière in Lyon, France. Her mission was to serve the poor and sick, and she did so with intense prayer and raised funds to help these ministries.
“Ultimately, the Society for the Propagation of the Faith would become one of the Pontifical Mission Societies and Pauline Jaricot would be declared Venerable by Pope St. John XXIII,” Father Francese said, noting that on Oct. 4 it was announced that during the bicentenary of the Society, Venerable Pauline Jaricot will be declared Blessed on May 22, 2022.”
Pope Pius XI, in 1926, instituted Mission Sunday in the Church, with the first collection taken up in support if it in October 1927. The annual collection to support the missions is always taken up on the next to last Saturday in the month of October. The day is celebrated in all local churches as the feast of catholicity and universal solidarity so Christians around the globe will recognize their common responsibility with regard to the evangelization of the people of the world.
Please contribute generously to the collection or send your tax-deductible contribution to: Society of the Propagation of the Faith, One Cathedral Square, Providence, R.I., 02903; 401-278-4520.