World Mission Sunday takes place on the second last Sunday of October each year. Since 1926, the Church has traditionally remembered its universal mission during the month of October. This year Mission Sunday will be celebrated throughout the world on the 19th October 2014. In Rome the celebration of Mission Sunday will take place at the conclusion of the Synod of Bishops on the “Pastoral Challenges to the Family in the Context of Evangelization” which is scheduled to take place in Rome from October 5th to 19th.
Throughout the world the faithful will reflect on the universal call to Mission of all the baptized and they will be invited to contribute what they can to support the development and growth of the young churches throughout the world. Mission Sunday is celebrated by every Church throughout the world, including the poorest. This special Sunday in October provides Catholics with the opportunity to unite with their missionary sisters and brothers overseas, and to recommit themselves to bringing the Joy of the Gospel to everyone they meet in their daily lives at home and at work.
In October and especially on Mission Sunday Catholics are invited to be specifically conscious of the Church’s missionary activity abroad (ad gentes) through prayer, sacrifice and financial contributions. The funds collected in all Churches throughout the world on Mission Sunday, is coordinated by the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, founded by Pauline Jaricot 190 years ago. The funds are used to assist Churches who need financial support and directed towards communities in need, both spiritually and materially.
In October 2013, Irish Catholics contributed more than €1.6 million on Mission Sunday. The Mission Sunday collection is made available, in its entirety, to be distributed to as many as 1,100 young Churches who are supported by the generosity of Churches that have been blessed with a greater quantity of financial and material gifts.
Contributions will be used to build simple mission churches, to educate seminarians as well as female diocesan religious novices. Your support also assists in the formation of catechists and lay leaders. The Mission Sunday gift may also be used for building health facilities for children and adults as well as for providing emergency aid in times of war or natural disaster or to assist missionaries in their efforts to care for refugees.
The theme for World Mission Sunday in Ireland this year 2014 is “That they may have Life”. A very appropriate theme as we look forward to the Synod on the Family later in the year. The theme also goes to the heart of “Evangelii Gaudium” (The Joy of the Gospel) published by Pope Francis on November 24th 2013.
On Mission Sunday, in a special way, we celebrate the work our c. 1,300 Irish born missionaries and all missionaries throughout the world. We thank God for them, for all who support them in our own country and during mission month we unite ourselves in prayer with them and with the communities with whom they work.