Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Each October, the celebration of World Mission Sunday leads us to the heart of our Christian faith – leads us to mission, as Pope Francis explains in his message for this year’s celebration on October 22.

The collection on the next-to-last Sunday in October is unique. It is truly a global effort for the entire Church. It is a central moment each year to provide for the building up of over 1,000 local churches in Asia and Africa, the Pacific Islands, and parts of Latin America and Europe, an area that covers more than half the territory of the globe. Through the work of these churches, and their witness to Christ, the poor receive practical help and experience God’s love and mercy, His hope and peace.

The materials for World Mission Sunday from the Society for the Propagation of the Faith encourage an ongoing formative relationship for mission, offering portraits of today’s missionaries inspired by the words of our chief missionary, Pope Francis.

I invite all of us in this Diocese to see World Mission Sunday as a special moment of encounter with the Pope’s missions throughout the world. Meeting the priests, religious and lay leaders who, day in and day out, witness to the Gospel and serve the poor, will, as Pope Francis says, “enable the missionary heart of Christian communities to join in prayer, testimony of life and communion of goods, in responding to the vast and pressing needs of evangelization.”

As I remain grateful for your generosity, I ask your full support, through prayer and sacrifice, on World Mission Sunday and throughout the year, as you are able.

Gratefully in the Lord,

The Most Reverend David M. O’Connell, C.M., J.C.D.

Bishop of Trenton