World Mission Sunday 2016: Mercy Changes the World
October 19th, 2016
“Go and make of all nations my disciples” (Mt.28: 16–28)
Ninety years ago, in 1926, Pope Pius XI introduced World Mission Sunday as a time for Catholics to pray, celebrate, and support Church Missions around the world. Every year World Mission Sunday is observed on the third Sunday in October. It is a day to highlight the outreach of local churches through priests, religious and laity among the poor and marginalized and the support that enables them to provide life-changing help to people in great need. World Mission Sunday this year is observed on October 23 under the theme: Mercy Changes the World. The Pontifical Mission Societies writes in their 2016 materials: “On World Mission Sunday, we are called in a special way to be “missionaries of mercy” through prayer and participation in the Eucharist, and by giving generously to the collection.”
Celebrating 200 years with the motto, Evangelizare pauperibus misit me pauperes evangelizantur– He has sent me to bring good news to the poor– the work of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate brings the Gospel to the poorest of the poor in over 60 countries through life in community and partnership with men and women of all faiths. Currently nearly 4,000 Oblates are dedicated to bringing the good news to the poor.
A Missionary Story
With an Oblate presence that dates back to the 1950s and 129 priests currently working in Haiti, this World Mission Sunday Oblate JPIC is placing special emphasis on this country, recently devastated by Hurricane Matthew. All Oblate missionaries in Haiti are accounted for and doing reasonably well, is the good news. But Oblate missions all over Haiti have suffered significant physical damage, in towns like Fond d’Oie; Gabions; Camp Perrin, Les Cayes; Charpentier and Port-Salut. For example in Fond d’Oie, a mountainous town of about 8000 people in the western part of the country, St. Anthony Padua Parish was completely destroyed for the second time in six years. They plan to rebuild as they did after the 2010 Haiti earthquake. The Catholic church has been present in that community since 1912.
There are many ways you can help:
- Pray daily for the work of the Church’s missionaries.
- Read the full text of the Holy Father’s 2016 World Mission Sunday message here.
- Give generously to the Mass collection on this World Mission Sunday, October 23.
- Pray for recovery efforts in Haiti after Hurricane Matthew.
- Take Action to support Haitians by asking Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to re-instate Temporary Humanitarian Parole for Haitians. (Action Alert sponsored by Interfaith Immigration Coalition)
- Help Support Haiti and other Caribbean nations recover from Hurricane Matthew. (Action Alert sponsored by Catholic Relief Services)
In his 2016 message for World Mission Sunday Pope Francis writes: “In many places evangelization begins with education, to which missionary work dedicates much time and effort, like the merciful vine-dresser of the Gospel (cf. Lk 13:7-9; Jn 15:1), patiently waiting for fruit after years of slow cultivation; in this way they bring forth a new people able to evangelize, who will take the Gospel to those places where it otherwise would not have been thought possible. The Church can also be defined as “mother” for those who will one day have faith in Christ.”