October 12, 2018

Second collection to benefit global missionary work

By John Shaughnessy

Here’s the one defining quality you need to know about Sister Loretto Emenogu:

The mission educator for the archdiocese believes in the goodness of God and people—and how that combination can change the world.

That combination also leads Sister Loretto to believe that the faithful of the Church in central and southern Indiana will be generous as parishes across the archdiocese hold a second collection during the weekend of Oct. 20-21 to mark World Mission Sunday, which is on Oct. 21 this year.

Contributions to that collection will help raise funds for more than 1,000 mission efforts around the world.

“World Mission Sunday is very striking and important to our Catholic faith,” says Sister Loretto, a native of Nigeria and a member of the Daughters of Mary, Mother of Mercy religious order. “It will bring the presence of Christ to those areas that don’t know about that.”

Sister Loretto also noted that the work of the missions in such places as Africa, Asia and parts of Europe and Latin America is also the mission of all Catholics. And supporting World Mission Sunday is one way to live that call, she says.

“In baptism, every Catholic is bound to be a missionary, no matter the age. [World Mission Sunday] is a time when we Catholics show our responsibility to the Church by supporting the pope with the poor mission places all around the world, financially and spiritually.”

Pope Francis also noted the importance of missions in his message about World Mission Day 2018.

“The Pontifical Mission Societies were born of young hearts as a means of supporting the preaching of the Gospel to every nation and thus contributing to the human and cultural growth of all those who thirst for knowledge of the truth,” Pope Francis noted.

“The prayers and the material aid generously given and distributed through the Pontifical Mission Societies enable the Holy See to ensure that those who are helped in their personal needs can in turn bear witness to the Gospel in the circumstances of their daily lives.”

The pope also used his message to remind Catholics around the world that bearing “witness to the Gospel” is the responsibility of all the faithful.

“The fact that we are not in this world by our own choice makes us sense that there is an initiative that precedes us and makes us exist,” Pope Francis declared. “Each one of us is called to reflect on this fact: ‘I am a mission on this Earth; that is the reason why I am here in this world.’ ”

In closing, Pope Francis asserted, “Together, we have received the mission to bring the Gospel to everyone.”

(For more information about the missionary efforts of the Church and how to become involved, visit the websites, www.missio.org and www.iamamissionary.org.)

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