For World Mission Day this Sunday, October 18, the Pope wrote the message “Here I am, send me” in which he recalls: “We were surprised by an unexpected storm and we realized that we were in the same boat, as fragile and disoriented people but also important and necessary. We are all called to row together ”.
Manoel Tavares – Vatican News
Next Sunday (10/18), the Church celebrates World Mission Day, which this year has as its theme: “I’m here, send me”. This day, celebrated on the third Sunday in October, the month of the Missions, was instituted by Pope Pius XI in 1926: a day of prayer for the evangelization of peoples, whose objective is to encourage missionary cooperation in the world and the contribution of missionaries. The ecclesial event is celebrated annually in all countries, where Catholics are committed to evangelization and to the construction of a more just, dignified and peaceful world. Missionary cooperation occurs with prayer, sacrifice and witness of life, as well as with material help for missionary projects.
Message of the Pope
On this third Sunday in October 2020, World Mission Day, the Church invites us to reflect on the theme, chosen by Pope Francis: “Here I am, send me”, extracted from the book of the prophet Isaiah (6, 8) . In his Message for this occasion, Francis highlights “the tribulations and challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic”, proposing to the Church special attention to this event that challenges all of humanity.
Fragility and deliverance from evil
The Pontiff notes that, like the disciples of the Gospel, “we were surprised by an unexpected and furious storm” and “we realize that we are in the same boat, as fragile and disoriented but also important and necessary people”: “We are all called to row together ”. Although we are “frightened, disoriented and fearful”, says the Pope, “suffering and death make us realize our human fragility”; but, at the same time, “we all feel a strong desire for life and freedom from evil”. In this context, the Mission is an invitation “to go out of oneself, for the love of God and neighbor, to share and serve all who most need the Good News and salvation”.
Beware of Creation
Pope Francis urges us to understand that “God speaks to us in these pandemic times, which is also a challenge for the Church’s mission: sickness, tribulation, fear, isolation; such a challenge makes us think of the sadness of those who die alone, of those who feel abandoned, of those who lose their jobs, of those who have no roof, of those who are hungry and needy ”. Finally, the Holy Father recalls that, “although we are obliged to keep physical distance and remain at home, we are invited to rediscover the need for greater contact with God”. In this context, “prayer, with which God touches and moves our hearts, makes us understand our lack of love, dignity and freedom, as well as care for creation”.
On the occasion of the 94th World Mission Day, which will be celebrated on Sunday, October 18, Fide Agencys presents, as usual, some statistics chosen to offer a panoramic view of the Church in the world. The data from the last “Statistical Yearbook of the Church” (31.12.18) concern members of the Church, pastoral structures, activities in the field of health, social assistance and education, and present a general picture of the ecclesiastical circumscriptions entrusted to the Congregation for Evangelization of Peoples. According to the latest statistics, therefore, the world population was almost 7 and a half billion people, of which almost 1 and a half million Catholics.
According to statistics, it can be seen that the number of Lay Missionaries in the world is 376,188, with an increase in all the Continents. While catechists have declined on 3 continents and have increased in Africa and Asia in any case they reach more than 3 million. The ecclesiastical circumscriptions, which depend on the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, are almost twelve hundred. Most are in Africa and Asia, followed by the Americas and Oceania.