It one of only three Papal collections and has been especially chosen by the Holy Father to support the mission of the Church in the world via Missio. This special day is celebrated in every Catholic community in the world. It is a moment of grace to express solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Christ who are living in situations of poverty, violence and oppression.
The theme the Holy Father has chosen this year is: ‘We cannot but speak about what we have seen and heard’ (Acts 4:20). In his message for World Mission Sunday, Pope Francis says:
‘Once we experience the power of God’s love we cannot help but proclaim and share what we have seen and heard. Jesus’ relationship with his disciples and his humanity shows us the extent to which God loves our humanity and makes his own our joys and sufferings, our hopes and our concerns’.
Our prayer, reflection and material help are a lifeline to missionaries in all continents who are striving to preach and live the Good News that God loves us.
World Mission Sunday is vital to the growth of the Church and the spread of the Gospel in predominately impoverished and remote areas overseas. Masses and collections will happen in every diocese across the world, and every single donation supports churches, hospitals, schools and vocations in countries where the Church is new, young or poor.
One of the wonderful things about World Mission Sunday is that every parish around the world prays for and financially supports our global Church. For example, in 2020 the Church in Bangladesh gave just over £3,000 and the Church in Malawi gave almost £18,500.
These funds raised build much-needed infrastructure, from chapels and schools to orphanages, clinics and dispensaries. Requested by the local community, the support from Missio transforms lives and creates a hub from which the young Church can flourish and grow.
On World Mission Sunday itself, we will be honouring the brave and selfless women and men already making a huge difference in some the world’s most troubled areas. This year, our focus will be on Nigeria and the work of Sister Veronica.
Intense violence continues to rock communities in Nigeria, with fatalities, mutilations, and destruction of property devastatingly commonplace. The violence is essentially caused by poverty, and historical religious tension is easily manipulated to encourage division and mistrust.
To quell the tension and create a peaceful and harmonious environment, free from suspicion, the Women’s Interfaith Council was established in Kaduna, northern Nigeria, by the Sisters of Our Lady of Apostles in 2010.
The Council encourages women of different faiths to work together to build peace through training programmes. These programmes empower women and contribute to healing and reconciliation in their community. Sister Veronica has been leading the Council since 2019.
She shares: ‘When you train a woman, you train a nation. We bring them together as women and build peace. Every religion talks about love, there is no religion that talks about war’.
This World Mission Sunday, help Missio ensure selfless missionaries like Sister Veronica can keep loving, serving and sharing God’s peace.
Missio: today, tomorrow, together
As the Pope’s official charity for world mission, Missio enables Catholics in England and Wales to live out the call received at Baptism: to share in the Church’s universal mission.
And in the lead-up to World Mission Sunday 2021 (WMS2021), Missio will be here to help individuals, schools, organisations, dioceses, parishes, communities, orders and congregations in England and Wales to get behind this worldwide Church initiative.
Missio invites everyone to get involved in WMS2021, joining our sisters and brothers around the world in faith and renewal. You can find out more about WMS21 on 24 October at missio.org.uk/wms