missionary work

Missio's work in Africa

09/04/2014 5:00 pm


British missionaries: priests, men and women Religious and lay people have done much to shape the face of Africa. We are heirs to a marvellous missionary tradition. Approximately 2,000 - 3,000 languages are spoken in Africa. That fact would have been no challenge for the Apostles speaking on Pentecost Sunday when “everyone heard in their own language about the marvels of God” (Acts 2:12).

Missio is the Holy Father’s own charity with the unique remit to share the gift of faith with all and reach out to the poorest and most vulnerable communities regardless of background or belief. Missio builds the Church and sustains it in places, like Africa, where it is still young or too poor to be self-sufficient. As the primary mission charity of the Catholic Church, Missio proclaims the Gospel and supports the growth of the Church in 537 dioceses in Africa and in countries as diverse as Algeria, Egypt, Malawi, Sierra Leone and South Africa. The work obviously differs according to the needs of each country.

Some mission dioceses were once home to Africans and their families now living in England and Wales such as Accra, Kampala, Enugu and the list could go on. Others are now familiar as holiday destinations, like Cape Town, Tunis or Dodoma, the starting point for safari among the Maasai Mara. Other towns, Tripoli, Khartoum, Bloemfontein, remain famous for their history. All have one thing in common; they are dioceses or ecclesiastical territories with a resident bishop. Missio enables bishops in mission dioceses to share the gift of faith, build infrastructure, train leaders and resource projects. Missio ensures that the vital work of the Church - proclaiming the Gospel, providing education and social care, fighting poverty, disease, injustice and exploitation, - can grow and be sustained. It is an undeniable fact that the Catholic Church provides 40% of the health care in Africa.

Pope Francis says: ‘The Gospel is for everyone, not just for some. Do not be afraid to go and bring Christ to the fringes of society, even to those who seem farthest away. The method of Christian mission is not proselytism but rather that of sharing the flame that warms the soul. I wish to thank all those who through their prayer and practical help support missionary work’.