“Here I am, send me” is the slogan of this year’s World Mission Day, known as Mission Sunday. It will be celebrated in the universal Church on October 18. In Poland, Missionary Sunday begins the Mission Week, according to the Polish Bishop’s Conference.
As Fr. Tomasz Atłas, national director of the Pontifical Missionary Works, the main goals of Missionary Sunday and Mission Week are a prayer that “the Kingdom of Jesus may extend to the whole world”, getting to know the missionary work of the Church and the activities of the Pontifical Work of Propagation of Faith and the life of its founder Paulina Jaricot, and the revival of the missionary spirit and material support for the mission.
Every year, on the occasion of the Missionary Day, the Holy Father prepares a special message. This year, Pope Francis is thanking God for the Extraordinary Missionary Month, celebrated in October 2019. As emphasized by Fr. Atłas, the Pope urges us not to cease in developing the missionary work of the Church in this difficult time of the pandemic, because isolation makes us realize how much we need interpersonal ties and that we have an excellent opportunity to build and deepen these ties, supporting our brothers around the world in various ways.
Fr. Maciej Będziński, national secretary of the Pontifical Work for the Promotion of Faith, presented the balance of last year’s Missionary Sunday. “Last year, the Pontifical Missionaries in Poland collected USD 1,134,489.43 during Mission Sunday and donated to the Holy See. The money was allocated to the construction of churches, chapels, parish houses, as well as the formation of catechists, priests, and the development of media evangelization. In total, 58 projects were implemented. The calculations of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples show that the help of the Pontifical Missionaries reaches 600 million Catholics. There are 120 national directorates of PDM operating in the world, which conduct missionary animation in local churches, ”informed the PDRW national secretary in Poland.
The importance of helping missions is emphasized by the missionaries themselves working on different continents. “We need prayer very much on missions, we feel this support at every step. On the occasion of Missionary Sunday, missionaries ask for material help, because without it our service would be impossible “- emphasized Fr. Tomasz Kaczor, priest of the diocese. Tarnowska, ministering in Bolivia. Father Simeon Stacher, OFM from Morocco, said that Christians in this country are celebrating the Day of Solidarity with the missionary Church by participating in the solemn Eucharist. On the other hand, Sr. Weronika Bednarz SSND, who serves on the outskirts of Lima, the capital of Peru, noted during her missionary work that “Bolivians, experiencing the lack of a priest-missionary and material poverty, feel responsible for their community,
World Mission Day is a celebration of the Pontifical Missionary Works and of the entire Church. It was established on April 14, 1926, by Pope Pius XI and is celebrated every year in all dioceses and parishes around the world on the penultimate Sunday in October. This day is also a patronal feast of the Papal Missionary Works, especially the Papal Work of Promotion of Faith. In Poland, World Mission Day, also known as Mission Sunday, extends to a whole week. This year it will be celebrated for the 94th time.