The observance of World Mission Sunday was instituted by Pope Pius XI in 1926. The purpose of this celebration is to make us aware of the extent of the Church’s missionary outreach and the need for support for these efforts. Our Archdiocese has celebrated World Mission Sunday from the time it originated. The first check that was sent to the Society of the Propagation in 1926 amounted to $83,640.72; a marvelous example of the generosity of our Archdiocese.
Every year the needs of the Catholic Church in the Missions grow - as new dioceses are formed, as new seminaries are opened because of the growing number of young men hearing Christ's call to follow Him as priests, as areas devastated by war or natural disaster are rebuilt, and as other areas, long suppressed, are opening up to hear the message of Christ and His Church. That is why the involvement and commitment of Catholics from around the world is so urgently needed. Offerings from Catholics in the United States, on World Mission Sunday and throughout the year, are combined with offerings to the Propagation of the Faith worldwide.
World Mission Sunday should be a celebration of pride for us as Catholics. Mission has been an essential component of the Church’s life from the beginning. In the past we saw mission as the responsibility of priests and religious sisters and brothers; the Second Vatican Council provided us with a theological framework that roots mission in the life of the Trinity and our participation in God’s mission. Like the disciples sent out by Jesus, we are all sent out on mission from the moment of our baptism.
Every parish needs to be a mission center where parishioners are formed for mission through the Sunday liturgy, the liturgical year, the sacraments, and vibrant parish life. World Mission Sunday is a time to reflect on our call to mission and our need to support the Church’s missionary outreach. This is not an optional extra for us as Catholics it is part of our very identity as Church. Celebrate with pride the continuing commitment to mission to proclaim the hope only Christ can give to all people.