KUCHING — The Universal Church celebrates the World Mission Sunday on every second last Sunday in October every year and this year it will be celebrated on 18 October 2020. Pope Pius XI in 1926 instituted World Mission Sunday, to be celebrated in all the local Churches as the feast of catholicity and universal solidarity so Christians the world over will recognise their common responsibility with regard to the evangelisation of the world through prayer, animation and offerings for the Missions. His concern was to engender a sense of responsibility in people for supporting the Missions throughout the world through the Pontifical Mission Societies.
Pope Francis, in his message for this year’s celebration, brings to light the new challenges to evangelisation and area of mission as the whole world is greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and he challenges all Catholics to take up this mission. “In all of this, God’s question: “Whom shall I send?” is addressed once more to us and awaits a generous and convincing response: “Here am I, send me!” (Is 6:8). God continues to look for those whom he can send forth into the world and to the nations to bear witness to his love, his deliverance from sin and death, his liberation from evil (cf. Mt 9:35–38; Lk 10:1–12)”, the Holy Father wrote.
On Mission Sunday last year, the parishes within the Archdiocese of Kuching collected RM65,753.40 and this fund was later distributed to dioceses in Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and also Indonesia by the Pontifical Mission Societies of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei. Among the projects that were partially supported by this fund was the Catechists’ training in the Diocese of Miri.
In the month of October also we are giving the opportunity for Children to participate in the works of mission in the spirit of “Children Helping Children” through a special collection box. Children are encouraged to give up a certain amount of their daily pocket money to help other children who are in need. These boxes will be collected during Christmas and are to be presented at the Solemnity of Epiphany, as a gesture presenting their gifts together with the Magi. Last year children all throughout the parishes in the Archdiocese of Kuching collected RM35,719.55 and this collection was sent to support projects for children in Tanzania, in East Africa. Well done to our little ones!
To bring all the children to pray together for mission, the Pontifical Mission Societies for Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei will be organising a Children Holy Hour on 2 October 2020, 7.00 pm which will be live-streamed from Kuching and to be celebrated by Most Rev Simon Poh, the Archbishop of Kuching, who is the Episcopal President for the Pontifical Mission Societies in this region.
There are still so many areas of mission in which we can help in. Therefore, as a missionary Church, what will your mission be in this whole month of October which shall be dedicated to the works of mission and evangelisation? Let us take up this mission as the prophet Isaiah did and say, “Here am I, send me” (Is 6:8). In the October issue of the Today’s Catholic, we shall publish the Pope’s Message for the World Mission Sunday.
May the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, Star of Evangelisation and Comforter of the Afflicted, missionary disciple of her Son Jesus, continue to intercede for us and sustain us.
Kuching Archdiocesan Commission for Mission and Human Development