“Humanity greatly needs to lay hold of the salvation brought by Christ. All the Lord’s disciples are called to nurture the joy of evangelization,” said the Pope in his message from the Vatican.
In his World Mission Sunday message, Pope Francis issued an urgent call for all members of the Church when he said: ‘Today, vast numbers of people still do not know Jesus Christ. For this reason, the mission ad gentes continues to be most urgent.
Fr. Socrates Mesiona, national director of the Pontifical Mission Societies Philippines and executive director of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) – Episcopal Commission on Mission, echoed Pope Francis’ reminder that the Church was “born to go forth.”
“All the members of the Church are called on to participate in this mission, for the Church is missionary by her very nature’,” Mesiona said.
According to him, Pope Francis’ visit to the Philippines is also expected “to renew in us our commitment to support and be part of the universal mission of the Church as the local Church looks forward to the centenary of the first baptism and first celebration of the Holy Eucharist in the Philippines in 2021.”
With the theme “I Will Build My Church,” brown mission envelopes will be distributed in all masses in Catholic churches today to help fund programs in mission territories such as providing assistance to churches for evangelization, ecclesial and social developments, education, as well as in the rebuilding of areas devastated by war or natural disasters. Collections have also been made in all Catholic schools all over the country.
The observance of World Mission Sunday was ordered by Pope Pius XI on April 14, 1926 as a reminder to the faithful of their “Christian vocation to be missionaries and of the urgent call to be part of the universal mission of the Church.”