October 8, 2016
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
In his message for World Mission Sunday, our Holy Father wrote the following words in light of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy this year: “… all of us are invited to ‘go out’ as missionary disciples, each generously offering their talents, creativity, wisdom and experience in order to bring the message of God’s tenderness and compassion to the entire human family. By virtue of the missionary mandate, the Church cares for those who do not know the Gospel, because she wants everyone to be saved and to experience the Lord’s love. She ‘is commissioned to announce the mercy of God, the beating heart of the Gospel’ (Misericordiae Vultus, 12) and to proclaim mercy in every corner of the world, reaching every person, young or old.”
The world’s missions include approximately 1,100 dioceses in Asia, Africa, the Pacific Islands and remote regions of Latin America. Help is offered for pastoral and evangelizing programs, for catechists and catechetical work, to build churches and chapels, for the work of religious communities in health care and education, and for communication and transportation needs.
All Catholics have the opportunity to share in the “mission of the servants of the Word” through active participation in the efforts of the four Pontifical Mission Societies: The Society for the Propagation of the Faith, the Holy Childhood Association, the Society of St. Peter Apostle and the Missionary Union of Priests and Religious. All of us can be a part of this effort, especially through prayer and through encouraging others to come to an awareness of their own role in the Church's missionary work by virtue of their Baptism.
I urge all in our diocesan family to share in the work of evangelization, offering your prayers and sacrifices for the Church's missionary efforts and in a special way on this World Mission Sunday on the weekend of October 16. Your generous support for this collection will also be a source of blessing for our own Diocese as we place evangelization at the heart of our Church's life and mission. I also invite to learn more by visiting IAMAMISSIONARY.ORG.
With every prayerful best wish, I remain
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Robert J. McManus
Bishop of Worcester