Mission letter from Archbishop Schnurr: Young people urged to serve “least” of our brethren
Greetings Fellow Catholics in Mission,
In his message for this year’s World Mission Sunday, Pope Francis specifically invites young people who want to follow Christ, to seek, to discover and to persevere in their vocation.
Observed by the Catholic Church on the penultimate Sunday of October every year, World Mission Sunday this year falls on Oct. 21. Instituted by Pope Pius XI in 1926, the annual day encourages prayers, cooperation and financial support for the 1,150 mission dioceses located mostly in Africa and Asia through the Pontifical Mission Societies. This day is also an opportunity to remind Christians about the fundamental missionary character of the church and of every baptized person.
The theme of this year’s observance, “Together with young people, let us bring the Gospel to all,” echoes the upcoming Synod of Bishops, scheduled from October 3-28 in the Vatican, whose theme is “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment.”
In the message addressed to all Christians, but especially to young people, the Pope reminds all that “we are not in this world by our own choice,” and hence there is “an initiative that precedes us and makes us exist.” Each one of us, he says, is called to reflect on the fact that ‘I am a mission on this Earth,” which is why we are here in this world. In fact, the Pope says, “every man and woman is a mission…which gives direction to our lives.”
Along with the Holy Father, I express my gratitude to our parishes, schools, and religious communities, and our local Mission Office that encourage our young people to carry out missionary volunteer work to serve the “least” of our brothers and sisters, promoting human dignity and witnessing to the joy of love and of being Christian. “No one is so poor as to be unable to give what they have, but first and foremost what they are,” the Pope says.
While not all of us are called to serve overseas, as followers of Christ, we all able to offer our prayers and financial resources on October 20/21 in our parishes to demonstrate our solidarity with fellow Catholics: catechists teaching in the mountains of Ghana, seminarians studying to serve their own people in Nepal, religious sisters operating health clinics in India, etc.
“I encourage our young people to carry out missionary volunteer work to serve the “least” of our brothers and sisters, promoting human dignity and witnessing to the joy of love and of being Christian.”
I also encourage you to join me at the special World Mission Sunday Mass and social event October 21 that begins at 3:30 p.m. at St. Benedict the Moor in Dayton. Local Catholics of many different cultures will bring their choirs, food, and entertainers to celebrate our unity of faith in diversity as well as the mission efforts of our Church worldwide.
You may wish to consider becoming a regular mission supporter and add our Archdiocesan Mission Office to your will. If you have interest in short or long-term mission work, mission trips, or parish or school twinning relationships, please contact our Mission Office Director, Dr. Mike Gable, at: [email protected] or at (513) 421-3131 x.2630
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Dennis M. Schnurr
Archbishop of Cincinnati