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2019 World Mission Sunday is October 20 October 18th, 2019
“We entrust the Church’s mission to Mary our Mother. In union with her Son, from the moment of the Incarnation the Blessed Virgin set out on her pilgrim way. She was fully involved in the mission of Jesus, a mission that became her own at the foot of the Cross: the mission of cooperating, as Mother of the Church, in bringing new sons and daughters of God to birth in the Spirit and in faith.”
(Message of Pope Francis for World Mission Day, October 2019)
World Mission Sunday (October 20) is a worldwide day for Catholics to reflect on the baptismal call to mission. World Mission Sunday this year falls within a special Extraordinary Missionary Month. We are called through our baptism to be part of the Church’s missionary efforts, through prayer, self-sacrifice and support of missionary vocations through material aid.
Mission Sunday collection provides vital support and sustains developing Catholic missions around the world especially for dioceses and mission centers in Asia, Africa, Latin America, Europe, and the Pacific Islands. The theme for 2019 World Mission Sunday is Baptized and Sent: The Church of Christ on Mission in the World.
In a world where so much divides us, World Mission Sunday rejoices in our unity as missionaries by our Baptism. And it provides an opportunity to support the life-giving presence of the Church among the poor and marginalized in more than 1,111 mission dioceses.
Community Water for Livingstone Diocese, Zambia
Livingstone diocese is at the southern tip of Zambia. It shares borders with Zimbabwe, Botswana Namibia, and Angola. Livingstone diocese does not usually receive adequate rainfall due to its location near two deserts: Namib and Kalahari.
The community has long been facing a water shortage. It has always been a challenge to get running water for bathing, cooking and other needs because the water is pushed through worn out pipes. Sometimes there is no water at all for days. As a result, using buckets residents resort to fetching water from outside the house for cooking and hygiene needs. Also relying on the current water supply are a youth center and girls’ secondary school.
Our goal is to drill a borehole and set up a strong water system which can hold a 5000 liter-tank. The diocesan residence is between the diocesan youth center and St Mary’s Secondary School. Once there is steady water flow at the residence, both the youth center and St Mary’s Secondary School will benefit in the event they
run out of water as is frequently the case. The youth center has about 250 students and St Mary’s Secondary School has 700 girl students.
The current community water shortage greatly affects the students. Instead of concentrating on learning they worry about drawing water for sanitary needs.
A borehole will eliminate all these problems and reduce the incidence of water-borne illnesses.
There are many ways we can respond to this call:
Continue to pray for Missions and please give generously on World Mission Sunday. If you would like to help the Livingstone diocese improve their water system please make your donation through this link and make it out to: Catholic Diocese of Livingstone, Zambia https://www.omiusa.org/index.php/oblate-ministries/support-our-mission/
The work of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate in bringing the Gospel to the poorest of the poor is an answer to this call of the Mission and Spirit. Missionary Oblates are dedicated to bringing the good news to the poor in over 60 countries through life in community and in collaboration with men and women of all faiths.
Provincial Update Fr. Louis Studer, OMI: Zambia April 6th, 2018
Fr. Louis Studer, OMI describes his recent trip to the U.S. Delegation in Zambia along with U.S. Vicar-Provincial for Personnel, Fr. Art Flores, OMI, and U.S. Treasurer, Fr. Jim Chambers, OMI. (Video runs approximately 6 Minutes)
Frs. Jim Brobst and Antonio Ponce visit Zambia January 19th, 2017
Festival of Social Doctrine: “Multi-stakeholder Collaboration” December 8th, 2016
By Fr. Séamus Finn, OMI
“In the midst of the people” was the organizing perspective used to bring together more than 500 participants at the Festival of Social Doctrine in Verona Italy last weekend. Small business leaders, church leaders and members of government were represented in the festival as were numerous representatives of church associations and civil society. They showcased some of the very successful projects that continue to evolve on cooperatives and credit unions and have been operating for years and presented some innovative ideas and approaches to the application of Catholic Social teaching to business and the not for ‘profit sector. The encyclical Laudato Sí provided the motivation for the participants and the stimulation for the talks, panels and workshops.
In his message to the festival Pope Francis returned to the theme of “encounter” when he encouraged those gathered to be open to the great diversity of peoples that comprise the fabric of humanity. “When you are with the people you see humanity: never exists only the head, always exists also the heart. There is more substance and less ideology. To solve the problems of the people you should start from the bottom, get dirty hands, have value, listen to the last”.
In the workshop that I presented with Bishop Moses Hamugonole from the diocese of Monze in Zambia, we were asked to share some thoughts in the engagement of the churches with the mining companies and specifically in Zambia. We built our input on the call for multi stakeholder dialogue that is encouraged in Laudati Sí and the decision of the Zambian Episcopal conference in April 2016 to convene a conference on how Mining and Agriculture can contribute to sustainable development.
We recalled how the extractive industry represented by the CEO’s of many major mining companies asked for a structured sustained conversation with the Vatican through the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. This conversation began by focusing on the poor reputation that mining has in many communities and regions and sought to explore how the industry could be a more constructive partner in promoting development. Thus was born in Rome in September 2013 the Days of Reflection and followed by Days of Courageous Conversation between major stakeholders that have now been convened four times during the intervening three years with other initiatives at national and regional events.
A primary question that has been reiterated in Laudato Sí asks about the appropriate mechanisms and sustainable ways of cultivating the abundance of the natural resources in our “common home” that have been entrusted into our care and promised also to sustain future generations. This includes both the resources on the surface of the earth as well as those below the surface. How do we structure the exploration and use of these basic resources in such a way that we leave behind an inhabitable planet?
Secondly we discussed the role and responsibility of each stakeholder and how they might work together to contribute to appropriate and sustainable development and be cognizant of the multiple crisis like poverty, youth unemployment, migration, destruction of the environment, deteriorating infrastructure and violence that societies face across the world? For corporations and foundations this must extend beyond philanthropy but be integrated into their very business models and operations and their investment philosophies. For governments and political leaders it requires the exercise of their authority for the promotion of the common good which includes the protection of “our common home”.
“I urgently appeal, then for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all” (no.14)
Zambian Oblates hold Justice and Peace Workshop June 5th, 2013
From February 4th to 8th 2013, a workshop on the spirituality of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation was held for Oblate pre-novices at the Oblate Formation House in Lusaka, Zambia.
Fr. Kennedy Katongo OMI, Director of the Oblate’s Justice and Peace Office in Zambia, convened the workshop. Fr. Katongo shared on the importance of preaching and living the Gospel. He called for JPIC awareness for global positive happenings and challenges facing the world today. ‘Positive happenings’ include industrialization, multiculturalism and intercultural dialogue, development of human rights, transportation and communication. Some of the challenges that require immediate actions include global warming, poverty violence and human rights abuses.
In the workshop closing remarks, the Oblate students were urged to live justly, promote peace and uphold the integrity of creation. Justice and peace work is a call to identify and respond to injustices in society. For Missionary Oblates, the scriptures, Catholic Social Teaching, and Oblate principles provide a background for how we need to respond.
This article first appeared in the OMI Zambia Delegation Newsletter for March 2013 and was written by Oblate Students Chikweto Chungu, Godwin Wali and Ackim Phiri, Lusaka, Zambia.