Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
This year marks the 90th anniversary of the establishment of World Mission Day by Pope Pius XI in 1926. Sunday, October 23, 2016, World Mission Sunday, is a time to recognize, celebrate and support the evangelical and merciful work of the Church through the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith. I ask for your financial assistance of this noble effort which brings the joy of the Gospel to over 1100 mission dioceses across the world.
Your gift may be used to buy Bibles for catechists preaching the Good News of Christ’s peace, hope and salvation to the poorest and most under-educated citizens of the world. It may assist priests traveling in difficult terrain to celebrate Mass in the outlying mission churches in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Your generosity helps to sustain hospitals and medical clinics where there would otherwise be none. Caring for the physical needs of those in need fosters hope and enkindles gratitude to God in the hearts of those who feel abandoned without us.
While the make-up of missionary societies is changing in our times, their work continues with the same fervor. Pope Francis has recognized the evolving nature of missionary work which increasingly includes the participation of more and more women and families. “…the growing presence of women in the missionary world, working alongside their male counterparts, is a significant sign of God’s maternal love. Women, lay and religious, and today even many families, carry out their missionary vocation in various forms: from announcing the Gospel to charitable service. Together with the evangelizing and sacramental work of missionaries, women and families often more adequately understand people’s problems and know how to deal with them in an appropriate and, at times, fresh way: in caring for life, with a strong focus on people rather than structures…” This reality has made the mission work and your support more effective overall.
May God continue to bless you and your loved ones as together we share the joy of the Gospel.
Cordially yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Robert J. Cunningham
Bishop of Syracuse