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World Mission Sunday an opportunity to support Pope’s missionary efforts across the globe

The Catholic faithful are invited to join in the mission work of the Church around the world by supporting the annual World Mission Sunday collection during weekend Masses Oct. 17 and 18 throughout the archdiocese.

The collection, set each year for the second-to-last-Sunday in October, helps spread the good news of Jesus Christ while helping people in need. Last year, the collection in the archdiocese raised $103,233.

In his message for World Mission Sunday, Pope Francis wrote: “The mission that God entrusts to each one of us leads us from fear and introspection to a renewed realization that we find ourselves precisely when we give ourselves to others.”

This year’s theme, “Here I Am, Send Me” (Is 6:8), encourages the faithful to reach out and bring the Lord’s mercy and concrete help to the most vulnerable communities in the pope’s missions.

Donations help priests, religious and lay pastoral leaders serve 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, and serve the poor.

“This year we’re in Cycle A of the (Mass) readings of St. Matthew’s Gospel, (where Jesus) tells us that we will be judged by whether we feed and clothe and take care of the poor,” said Deacon Omar Gutiérrez, archdiocesan director of the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith, the collection’s sponsor.

“While sometimes we can do that locally, it’s difficult to do it globally, and World Mission Sunday helps us fill that call from Jesus,” he said.

Money raised also supports the Catholic Near East Welfare Association, which helps to support Christians in the Holy Land and the Middle East, Deacon Gutiérrez said, and provides food, medical care, education and other aid to the poor.

In addition, donations support construction of churches, schools and radio stations, all for the advancement of catechesis and faith in developing countries, he said.

The International Society for the Propagation of the Faith allocates the monies collected to missionaries worldwide, based on prioritized needs.

Catholics who still are not attending Mass in person due to the coronavirus pandemic may contribute to the collection online at missio.org, or they can write a check to the Society for the Propagation of the Faith and mail it to 2222 N. 111th St., Omaha, NE 68164.