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World Mission Sunday gives parishioners chance to help

Helping Nigerians recover from the ravages inflicted by war and the terrorist group Boko Haram, and giving Philippine women who are victims of human trafficking a way out, are two projects to be funded by the archdiocese’s annual World Mission Sunday collection.

The Oct. 22- 23 collection in parishes across the archdiocese is a way for parishioners to participate in the missionary activity of the Catholic Church, said Omar Gutierrez, manager of the archdiocese’s Office of Missions and Justice.

Through past collections, the archdiocese has supported missionary activity in Guatemala, as well as schools, churches, orphanages and medical clinics in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Pakistan and Italy.

"The school in Nigeria, as a result of our past funding, has increased its enrollment by at least 100 percent," Gutierrez said. "And students there performed at the highest level compared to other students in the region."

Another project to be funded by the archdiocesan collection is an effort by a religious order of sisters in the Philippines to build housing for women victimized by human trafficking, he said.

"These sisters dress in regular clothes and go into the bars and nightclubs in Cebu to find these women and give them a place to go," Gutierrez said.

"We should be very proud of the incredible work that’s being done on behalf of our people to help those involved in some of the worst situations in the world."

Sponsored by the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith, World Mission Sunday is a global effort to help those in need while spreading the Catholic faith.

All dioceses in the United States take part, Gutierrez said, and have the option to use a portion of collection proceeds to directly fund projects of their own choosing.

Last year, the collection in the archdiocese raised more than $104,000, he said.

"The collection is a way for all of us to show solidarity with other Catholics and to live up to the mandate from our Lord in Matthew 28 where he told us to go and spread the faith and the Gospel," Gutierrez said.

"And it’s a way for us to become aware of what the Catholic Church does throughout the rest of the world."

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