Dear Friends in Christ,
Each October, the celebration of World Mission Sunday (WMS) leads us to the heart of our Christian faith, leads us to mission, as Pope Francis explains in his message for this year’s celebration on October 22.
The collection on October 22 is unique. It is truly a global effort for the entire Church. It is a central moment each year to provide for the building up of over one thousand local churches in Asia and Africa, the Pacific Islands, and parts of Latin America and Europe, an area that covers more than half the territory of the globe. Through the work of these churches, and their witness to Christ, the poor receive practical help and experience God’s love and mercy, His hope and peace.
The materials for WMS from the Society for the Propagation of the Faith encourage an ongoing formative relationship for mission, offering portraits of today’s missionaries inspired by the words of our chief missionary, Pope Francis.
I invite all of us in the diocese to see WMS as a special moment of encounter with the Pope’s missions throughout the world. Meeting the priests, religious, and lay leaders who, day in and day out, witness to the Gospel and serve the poor, will, as Pope Francis says, “enable the missionary heart of Christian communities to join in prayer, testimony of life and communion of goods, in responding to the vast and pressing needs of evangelization.” To learn more about the Missions from Pope Francis, please visit ChatWithThePope.org.
As I remain grateful for your generosity, I ask your full support, through prayer and sacrifice, on WMS and throughout the year, as you are able.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend David J. Walkowiak Bishop of Grand Rapids