My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
“Today vast numbers of people still do not know Jesus Christ.” Pope Francis begins his message for this year’s celebration of World Mission Sunday with these words. But he quickly offers us the way to make a joy-filled, life-giving difference in this regard. “World Mission Sunday is a privileged moment when the faithful of various continents engage in prayer and concrete gestures of solidarity in support of the young Churches in mission lands.”
On October 19, as our diocesan family celebrates this “privileged moment” let us join our brothers and sisters around the world who will gather at the Lord’s Table to celebrate, with great joy, our common vocation as missionaries. Our prayers and concrete gestures of solidarity will help build local churches, like the church in Mongolia, the world’s youngest Catholic Church, and churches across 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.
Your financial help on World Mission Sunday, offered in the collection for the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, will support the 1,150 young mission dioceses and communities who await the “Good News” of Jesus as their saving hope.
Pope Francis encourages us to take joyful part in the Church’s mission to all the nations, as we live our lives grounded in love for Jesus and concern for the needs of the most disadvantaged. May World Mission Sunday offer each one of us an opportunity to accomplish both, as we share the joy of the Gospel and help the poor by our fervent prayer and through generous hearts!
Faithfully yours in the Lord,
Most Rev. David M. O’Connell, C.M.
Bishop of Trenton
For more about this important celebration of the universal Church, please visit the special World Mission Sunday web site: www.IAmAMissionary.org.