World Mission Sunday

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‘Faith changes everything’. This is the theme of this year’s World Mission Sunday campaign in England and Wales and features the work of St Anthony’s orphanage in Zambia which is run by Religious Sisters.

Sunday 21 October is World Mission Sunday, the day, each year, that the whole Catholic Church comes together to support the work of missionaries and those who work to share the Catholic faith worldwide. 

Missio, the official organisation for the overseas mission of the Church, proclaims that ‘Faith changes everything’, highlighting that faith is the driving force behind the entire missionary activity of the Church. It is faith which gives meaning, direction and focus to the continuing spiritual and material support of the Church in the developing world.

Mgr Canon James Cronin, National Director of Missio England and Wales, said: ‘Faith plays a crucial role in the work that missionaries carry out. Often their good works such as building schools, providing healthcare and food could be done without their faith, but it is faith that changes these actions and stops them being merely sentimental or patronising. Faith means that every person is seen with eyes of love.  Faith is the source and the result of their love.’

Pope Benedict XVI in his 2012 World Mission Sunday message said: ‘The concern to evangelise must never remain at the margins of Church activity and of the personal life of Christians. Rather, it must strongly characterise it. Faith is a gift that is given to us to be shared… It is the most important gift that has been given to us , one which we cannot keep to ourselves.’

The little girl featured on this year’s World Mission Sunday poster has had her life changed through the faith of the Sisters who look after her in St Anthony’s orphanage in Zambia. We hope to encourage others to see that it is faith that drives these good works.’

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World Mission Sunday takes place on the penultimate Sunday of October every year.

World Mission Sunday is coordinated by Missio, the official instrument for the mission of the Catholic Church. Missio supports every mission diocese in the world until they are able to be self-sufficient. Missio is the umbrella for four societies, working together for the Church where it is young and poor:

  • The Association for the Propagation of the Faith (APF)

  • The Society of St Peter the Apostle (SPA)

  • Mission Together (MT)

  • The Pontifical Missionary Union (PMU)

Offerings from Catholics in England and Wales on World Mission Sunday are combined with donations to the Association for the Propagation of the Faith and distributed to all 1,069 mission dioceses worldwide.

In 2011 the money collected through World Mission Sunday amounted to £368,721 and supported 50 dioceses in 6 countries.

St Anthony’s Orphanage factual info

St Anthony’s orphanage in Ndola is one of Zambia’s specialised orphanages, in the care of Dominican Sisters who cater for 107 children, most of them between the ages of 2 and 6, with a number of carers, each of whom looks after 20-30 children. Some of the little ones are orphans as a result of HIV/AIDS, but many have the added complication of physical disability or profound learning difficulties. Often, with the right care and support, such youngsters can have a full and happy life within the limitations of their condition. Sometimes they discover new and exciting possibilities as these children are helped to push back their boundaries to new horizons.

The Dominican Sisters care for most of the children’s needs but do not have the physiotherapy skills which the conditions of some of their little ones require. The 800 year-old close friendship between Dominicans and Franciscans has proved, yet again, to be a source of hope and a force for change as they found a young physiotherapist, Sister Mambwe Mupeta, a Franciscan Missionary of the Divine Motherhood (FMDM).


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