Catholics around the world celebrate World Mission Day 2012

Catholics around the world will celebrate World Mission Day during a time that we celebrate hope and renewal in our global church.

“World Mission Day 2012 is celebrated around the world on Sunday 21 October which aptly occurs while Pope Benedict along with Cardinals and Bishops are gathered for the Synod on the New Evangelisation, and just after celebrations remembering 50 years since the opening of the Second Vatican Council, as well as the opening of the Year of Faith, and all these things are linked to our prayer for missions around the world.

“The new evangelisation and the Year of Faith calls on Catholics to renew their faith in a new world, the theme for world mission day in New Zealand is ‘give me the joy of your salvation’ the line comes from Psalm 51, which tells us our faith can be renewed and our lives can be meaningful again when I really know in my heart that I am loved personally and unconditionally by God who became human that I may have life and have it to the full, says Fr Bernard Espiritu SVD, National Director of Missionz.

Mission Sunday raises awareness of missions worldwide and includes a collection to support these works. People can contribute to the collection by visiting the website or through your parish collection.
“The main office of the Pontifical Mission Society of the Propagation of the Faith in the Rome decides where the Mission Collection should go with oversight of the many mission activities globally, says Fr Espiritu.

“We’ve requested support to go to the missionary work of Fr Alpha Mazenga SVD, a Divine Word Missionary, who works with street kids in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo and the work of Fr Eugene Docoy and other Divine Word Missionaries who work with him in the rubbish tip and with the street kids of Cebu City in the Philippines. We also would like to help a community in Kiribati. The community would like to renovate their maneaba. It is a traditional meeting place of people especially the youth and children. It is used for various activities including their catechism and other faith formation activities, says Fr Espiritu.

“This Mission Sunday we remember there are people who wait for the Lord, they do their best to take care of themselves, but need our help, this help comes from the kindness of God we share with them, in this exchange, that is through our generosity and their gratitude our faith is expressed in a visible way, says Fr Espiritu.

Pope Benedict XVI says in his Message for World Mission Day “The encounter with Christ as a living Person, who satisfies the thirst of the heart, cannot but lead to the desire to share with others the joy of this presence and to make him known, so that all may experience this joy. It is necessary to renew the enthusiasm of communicating the faith to promote a new evangelization of the communities and Countries with a long-standing Christian tradition which are losing their reference to God so that they may rediscover the joy of believing. The concern to evangelize must never remain on the margins of ecclesial activity and of the personal life of Christians. Rather, it must strongly characterize it, in the awareness that they are those for whom the Gospel is intended and, at the same time, missionaries of the Gospel,

“Faith is a gift that is given to us to be shared; it is a talent received so that it may bear fruit; it is a light that must never be hidden, but must illuminate the whole house. It is the most important gift which has been made to us in our lives and which we cannot keep to ourselves, Pope Benedict says.

Missionz is the New Zealand national office of the worldwide Pontifical Mission Societies. The three societies are:
• Propagation of the Faith - supporting Bishops in Missionary Dioceses
• St Peter the Apostle - to fund seminarians and religious in mission territories
• Holy Childhood - to support health and religious formation needs of mission children

The objectives of Missionz is to promote awareness of the mission of the Catholic Church - to present the good news of Jesus Christ to all peoples, and to generate spiritual, material and financial support for those working in mission and third world territories.

The Pontifical Mission Societies have the common aim of assisting the Holy Father, in spreading missionary awareness among priests, religious, adults and children; encouraging aid to the poor, and gathering financial support for different projects in third world countries. The funds collected during the year by the Pontifical Mission Societies are sent directly to mission dioceses in need, as decided at Council in Rome each May.