Archbishop Schnurr’s Message on the Extraordinary Mission Month for October
Greetings fellow Evangelizers/Missioners,
Pope Benedict XV wrote a powerful missionary letter, Maximum Illud, just after the horrendous First World War in 1919 urging the world to instill the love and hope of Christ and to avoid nationalist aims that had proved so disastrous. He called for the end of emphasizing differences among cultures that provoke hatred and conflict. Instead, the pope implored missionaries and all Catholics to develop a truly universal perspective, learn other languages, and aspire to live with humility with others beyond our boundaries with faith in God.
Today Pope Francis, asks us to heed those same teachings from a century ago and celebrate the Extraordinary Missionary Month for October 2019. Specifically, the Holy Father reminds us of our baptismal promises to deepen our relationship with Christ, grow in our own evangelical formation, honor our current missionaries and saints, and support the Pontifical Mission Societies.
One way we are responding to the Holy Father’s invitation in our archdiocese is by honoring the late Sister Dorothy Stang, SNDdeN, of Dayton, who gave her life in 2005 protecting the Amazon forest and the struggling peasants living there. We have invited all our pastors to present certain names of parishioners who are living out those same missionary values of Sister Stang and then to award them with certificates thanking them for their service in the Lord this October.
This coming World Mission Sunday, Oct. 20, I encourage you to give generously to the Pontifical Mission Societies at your local parish to support our fellow Catholics in 1,150 mission dioceses worldwide. They are building convents, seminaries and lay catechists’ centers to offer their own people the love and hope of Christ. You are also invited that day to celebrate a special World Mission Sunday Mass and festivities at 3 p.m. at St. Benedict the Moor Church in Dayton.
Lastly, consider becoming a regular mission supporter and add our archdiocesan mission office to your will. If you or someone you know has any interest in short or long term mission work, mission trips, school or parish twinning relationships, please contact the Mission Office Director, Dr. Michael Gable, at [email protected] or (513) 421-3131.
Sincerely yours in the mission of Christ,
Most Reverend Dennis M. Schnurr, Archbishop of Cincinnati