Sunday, 24 October 2021
World Mission Sunday, the one day in the year when the entire global Church comes together in support of mission, is celebrated on 24 October this year.
Coordinated by Missio, Church’s official charity for overseas mission, this special day offers a moment of grace to express solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Christ who are living in situations of poverty, violence and oppression.
The theme the Holy Father has chosen this year is: ‘We cannot but speak about what we have seen and heard’ (Acts 4:20). In his message for World Mission Sunday, Pope Francis says:
“Once we experience the power of God’s love we cannot help but proclaim and share what we have seen and heard. Jesus’ relationship with his disciples and his humanity shows us the extent to which God loves our humanity and makes his own our joys and sufferings, our hopes and our concerns.”
Fr Anthony Chantry, Missio’s National Director in England and Wales shares:
“Celebrating World Mission Sunday is so important and relevant in these times. If we are to emerge from all our present global problems stronger in our commitment to Jesus and the coming of his Kingdom of peace and justice, we must work together, helping and supporting each other across the world.
“World Mission Sunday is about expressing the solidarity that comes from being the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.”
Intense violence continues to rock communities in Nigeria, with fatalities, mutilations, and destruction of property devastatingly commonplace. The violence is essentially caused by poverty, and historical religious tension is easily manipulated to encourage division and mistrust.
To quell the tension and create a peaceful and harmonious environment, free from suspicion, the Women’s Interfaith Council was established in Kaduna, northern Nigeria, by the Sisters of Our Lady of Apostles in 2010.
With support from Missio, the Council encourages women of different faiths to work together to build peace through training programmes. These programmes empower women and contribute to healing and reconciliation in their community. Sr Veronica has been leading the Council since 2019. She shares:
“When you train a woman, you train a nation. We bring them together as women and build peace. Every religion talks about love, there is no religion that talks about war.”
One Christian woman who has been personally affected by the violence is 23-year-old Rachel*. Her village and family were attacked in their village by suspected militant Fulani herdsmen. Rachel heard the gun shots that killed her son. Then she and her small daughter were assaulted, and Rachel’s left arm was cut off below her elbow. She says:
“When thinking about those who killed my son, if they are still alive, I pray for them: ‘May God forgive them because they don’t know what they have done’.”
Today, with the support of Sister Veronica and the Women’s Interfaith Council, Rachel is rebuilding her life and attempting to heal through forgiveness.
This World Mission Sunday, help Missio ensure selfless missionaries like Sr Veronica can keep loving, serving and sharing God’s peace.
You can play a valuable part in creating a vibrant Catholic Church for the future by supporting Missio. Find out more about World Mission Sunday by visiting a dedicated section on Missio’s website.
*Rachel’s name has been changed to protect her identity.