90th Mission Sunday: Why giving for Mission Sunday is so important?
Posted date: October 22, 2016
Mission Sunday is a day is a day set aside for the Catholic Church throughout the world to publicly renew its commitment to the missionary movement. Throughout the world the faithful will reflect on the universal call to Mission of all the baptized. They will be invited to contribute what they can to support the development and growth of young churches internationally. In October and especially on Mission Sunday Catholics are invited to be specifically conscious of the Church’s missionary activity abroad (ad gentes) through prayer, sacrifice and financial contributions.
The funds collected in all Churches throughout the world on Mission Sunday, is coordinated by the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, founded by Pauline Jaricot under the umbrella of Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS), 190 years ago. The funds are used to assist Churches who need financial support and directed towards communities in need, both spiritually and materially. Contributions will be used to build simple mission churches, to educate seminarians as well as female religious novices. Your support also assists in the formation of catechists and lay leaders. The Mission Sunday gift may also be used for building health facilities for children and adults as well as for providing emergency aid in times of war or natural disaster or to assist missionaries in their efforts to care for refugees.
Our Holy Father in his message for World Mission Sunday 2016 said, “The Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, which the Church is celebrating, casts a distinct light on World Mission Sunday 2016: it invites us to consider the missio ad gentes as a great, immense work of mercy, both spiritual and material. On this World Mission Sunday, 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.”
During Mission Sunday last year, a total of RM2,038,383.01 was collected from the parishes in our conference of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei. 15% of the amount was allocated for the PMS office use whereas the remaining of RM1,858,322.68 (USD437,252.40) which includes unspent money from 2014, was distributed to the following countries as advised by the General Secretary of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, Rome to be used to promote missionary movement:-
(i) Apostolic Nunciature in Singapore = USD 31,000.00
(ii) Apostolic Nunciature in Indonesia = USD 149,542.40
(iii) Apostolic Nunciature in Malaysia = USD 256,710.00
(for East Malaysia & Brunei)
Another society that is under the umbrella of PMS is the Society of the Holy Childhood, founded by Bishop Charles de Forbin Jansen. Its purpose is to encourage all children to be aware of the needs of children living in mission diocese through the world. Bishop de Forbin Jansen always had a keen interest in the missions. He was a great preacher and traveled throughout France preaching the Gospel. He received letters from missionaries in China requesting his financial help to save starving and abandoned babies there. He did not know how to begin to raise these funds so he met with Pauline Jaricot who had already began her work to raise funds for mission dioceses. She advised him that no one could understand the needs of children better than children. She gave him the idea to start a children’s charity.
In 1843 he called upon the children of France to help save the children of China. He asked them to become Missionary Children, helping to spread the Good News. He asked them to say a Hail Mary every day and give a small coin every month to help feed the Chinese children.
Their motto was “children helping children”. The French children took up this great work and from then on the work of missionary children has spread across the world. Today it is in 110 countries and helps make Jesus known to children all over the world. Under its banner “children helping children”, monies raised through schools are directed towards self-help programmes involving the building of schools, the provision of health and nutrition programmes and medications, school fees, and teaching and learning resources.
Children in communities, orphanages, homes for the disabled, refuges, and those living on the streets are assisted by the generosity of children who wish to make the love of Jesus know everywhere.
In our conference, our children too have contributed in their ways. Last year our children collected a total of RM160,366.95. 15% of the amount was allocated to print Bibles and Prayer Booklets for children and also for the PMS office expenses. The remaining of RM157,880.72 (USD37,148.40) which includes unspent money from 2014, was distributed to the following countries as advised by the General Secretary of the Society of the Holy Childhood, Rome to be used to help poor children, building of schools, funding teachers, education, providing healthcare and etc:-
(i) Apostolic Nunciature in Kenya = USD29,148.40
(ii) Diocese of Sandakan = USD 8,000.00
The PMS National Director of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, Rev. Fr. V. A. Michael would like to personally thank all the PMS Arch/Diocesan Directors, Parish Priests, Catechetical Teachers, Parishioners and especially our beloved Children for spreading the news on the importance of being a missionary and for all the contributions. On Mission Sunday, in a special way, let’s celebrate the work of all missionaries throughout the world. We thank God for them, for all who support them and during mission month we unite ourselves in prayer with them and with the communities with whom they work.
As conclusion, let’s reflect on Pope Francis’ message: “All peoples and cultures have the right to receive the message of salvation which is God’s gift to every person.”
May St. Francis Xavier and St. Teresa of the Child Jesus, patron saints of mission, pray for us.
Fr VA Michael
Pontifical Mission Societies National Director
Image source: www.propfaith.net