Returning to our Missionary Roots

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, www.archbalt.org/missions or www.iamamissionary.org. May God bless you and all who benefit from your generosity.

Archbishop William E. Lori

Archbishop William E. Lori

Archbishop William E. Lori was installed as the 16th Archbishop of Baltimore May 16, 2012.

Prior to his appointment to Baltimore, Archbishop Lori served as Bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport, Conn., from 2001 to 2012 and as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Washington from 1995 to 2001.

A native of Louisville, Ky., Archbishop Lori holds a bachelor's degree from the Seminary of St. Pius X in Erlanger, Ky., a master's degree from Mount St. Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg and a doctorate in sacred theology from The Catholic University of America. He was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Washington in 1977.

In addition to his responsibilities in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Archbishop Lori serves as Supreme Chaplain of the Knights of Columbus and is the former chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty.