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Returning to our Missionary Roots

Catholic Review Column: Review in the Pew

This weekend our Church observes World Mission Sunday, the day set aside for Catholics throughout the world to recommit themselves, through prayer and sacrifice, to the missionary zeal that has defined our Church since its very beginnings.

Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has shown himself to be a great teacher with the heart of a missionary. Through his word and example, he reminds us what it means to be a missionary, always keeping the poor, the troubled, and the vulnerable in clear view at all times.

This is the goal of the Society of the Propagation of the Faith, the Holy Father’s chief missionary body. The Society provides resources for more than 1,150 mission dioceses throughout the world, enabling the Church to serve, “Not as a relief organization,” the Pope said, “but a community of people, animated by the Holy Spirit, who have lived and are living the wonder of the encounter with Jesus Christ and want to share this experience of deep joy, the message of salvation that the Lord gave us. It is the Holy Spirit that guides the Church in this path.”

The theme for World Mission Sunday in the United States echoes the words of St. Therese of Lisieux, the young Carmelite Sister who is the Patroness of Missions. The theme, “Do good on earth,” is also a call to us to put our faith into action. At a time when the needs have grown substantially, and the urgency of the cry of the poor is all the more pronounced, I invite your prayers, your sacrifices, and your generosity for those missionary efforts that respond where aid is needed most.

Support of Mission dioceses helps to fund catechetical programs, seminaries, transportation needs, and the building of chapels, churches, orphanages and schools. You can learn more from the Missions Office in the Archdiocese of Baltimore by visiting their website, or May God bless you and all who benefit from your generosity.