Catholics of the Diocese of Trenton will be called to join their brothers and sisters across the globe in praying for and supporting the missionary work of the Church as part of the annual observance of World Mission Sunday Oct. 24.
The faithful are also invited by Pope Francis to reflect on their own role as missionaries, “which at its most basic level involves living in such a way that other people ask what motivates their love and concern,” Pope Francis said.
World Mission Sunday will be observed in the Diocese during Masses Oct. 23 and 24 and will be formally celebrated at the noon Mass Oct. 24 in St. Mary of the Lakes Church, Medford. Father Peter James Alindogan, diocesan Missions director, will be the principal celebrant and homilist.
In a message issued for World Mission Sunday, Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., wrote that the “annual, worldwide Eucharistic celebration for the Missions of the Church . . . fortifies our understanding of our shared call to mission, bestowed upon us at Baptism.”
Bishop O’Connell noted this year’s theme for World Mission Sunday: “We cannot but speak about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20). Echoing the Holy Father’s message, Bishop O’Connell writes, “He invites us to speak of our faith!”
“World Mission Sunday provides us with that very opportunity. We can speak about our faith and respond to our missionary call – through prayer, participation in the Eucharist and giving generously to the collection for the Society for the Propagation of the Faith that is taken on that special day.”
According to Bishop O’Connell, gifts to the annual collection “support and sustain priests, religious and lay pastoral leaders in more than 1,100 mission dioceses in Asia, Africa, the Pacific Islands and parts of Latin America and Europe as they proclaim the Gospel, build the Church, serve the poor – and speak of our shared faith in all corners of the world.”
To read the Bishop’s full statement, click HERE.
The Diocese’s Office of Missions published its Annual Report and acknowledged top contributions from Catholic school and parish religious education students to the Missions. This special report can be found HERE.
During the diocesan Mass, Father Alindogan will present an award to Gina Selah, a religious education student of St. Mary of the Lakes Parish who was one of 24 young people nationwide to have her artwork selected in the National Christmas Art Contest of the Missionary Childhood Association. This is the fourth consecutive year that a student from the Diocese has been selected as a winner in the contest.
In a video announcing the Church’s annual celebration of October as Mission Month, Pope Francis states, “Jesus asks us all, and you as well, to be missionary disciples. Are you ready?”
The Pope’s prayer intention for the month of October is: “We pray that every baptized person may be engaged in evangelization, available to the mission, by being witnesses of a life that has the flavor of the Gospel.”