This year for World Mission Sunday, Oct. 23, Pope Francis reiterated that each and every baptized person is called to mission, guided by the Holy Spirit, and thus every Christian is called to be a missionary and witness to Christ to the ends of the earth. Consequently, mission is carried out together, not individually, in communion with the ecclesial community of the world. To evangelize is the very identity of the Church (Rome, St. John Lateran, Jan. 6, 2022, Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord).
Presently in the world where so much continues to divide us, World Mission Sunday instead unites us all as missionaries to help build the body of Christ through a shared mission of hope, goodness and compassion. To be in mission is to be willing to think as Christ does, to love as Christ does, to share as Christ does and to welcome all of our brothers and sisters as Christ does.
This message — with this year’s theme “You shall be my witnesses” (Acts 1:8) — reinforces the idea that together as disciples we are urged to carry out Christ’s mission and message; to live the mission entrusted to us; to bear witness and to be witnesses of Christ throughout the world.
World Mission Sunday is set aside for Catholics worldwide to celebrate their individual and communal call to mission, to solidarity, to unity and to evangelization. Mission is so central to the Gospel and the needs are so urgent throughout the world that I encourage you to embrace this responsibility wholeheartedly. Every parish, every home, every workplace must be a place of mission awareness, prayer and sacrifice.
Through this World Mission Sunday celebration, our Mission Office/Society for the Propagation of the Faith connects with the loving work of great missionaries of every time and every place. It shares directly in the work of the Holy See, not with one mission but with all missions of the world.
Thousands of priests, religious and laity who serve in various ways in mission dioceses throughout the world depend on annual subsidies from the Society for the Propagation of the Faith and on the prayers of all of us. These mission churches provide a spiritual home for those most in need, offering them the Lord’s peace, hope and love.
In order to meet the needs of our brothers and sisters throughout the world, please join me in helping to make World Mission Sunday 2022 a resounding success. On behalf of all those who will benefit from your generous gifts, I thank you.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Bishop Donald J. Kettler
Diocese of Saint Cloud