World Mission Sunday collections take place in every single parish where the Church is present. This includes not only Ireland and Europe, but also in poorer parishes in developing countries. It is a moment of universal solidarity when each member of the Church family, regardless of location or background, play their part in supporting each other. This is what makes it such a special celebration.
World Mission Sunday is the Holy Father’s annual appeal for spiritual and financial support so that the life-giving work of overseas mission and missionaries can continue. It always falls on the second last Sunday in October, and like the Good Friday collection for the Holy Land and Peter’s Pence, it is one of three yearly universal Church collections.
Why is World Mission Sunday important?
All offerings and donations made for World Mission Sunday become part of the Holy Father’s Universal Solidarity Fund. This fund is a lifeline for struggling missionaries and the communities they serve across Africa, Asia and Latin America, where over 1,100 mission dioceses are found. As these dioceses form and grow, so do their needs. On top of this, mission dioceses are often in remote areas devastated by war and natural disasters, or where suppressed communities are just opening up to the life-saving message of Jesus Christ.
This is why World Mission Sunday is so important. It offers young dioceses the financial and spiritual assistance they need to help their men, women, and children to survive and thrive.
How is the Solidarity Fund shared?
Each year, representatives from our 120 international offices meet for the National Assembly. During this meeting funding requests from mission dioceses are reviewed to identify those with the greatest need. Each international office is then assigned specific missionary projects to fund via their country’s World Mission Sunday collections.
Missio Ireland has a responsibility to ensure that all contributions and donations are distributed justly and transparently. To ensure this, World Mission Sunday funding is given directly from Ireland to overseas bishops, churches, and missionary congregations. They then provide a report and updates on the progression of their project.
What is Actually Supported?
The needs of overseas dioceses vary greatly. Anything from a motorbike so a priest can celebrate Mass in a remote village, to a community hall to allow people to gather and celebrate in safety. Or more urgently, vaccinations and medicines to protect the vulnerable.
In essence, World Mission Sunday:
Provides Church centred infrastructure by helping communities build schools, clinics, parish halls, and churches
Prepares the future leaders and carers of the Church by supporting the training of sisters, priests, religious brothers and catechists
Supports missionary programmes that protect and care for children’s wellbeing by offering safe shelter, healthcare, education, and hope for the future
Who Organises World Mission Sunday?
In Ireland, Missio Ireland is responsible for coordinating World Mission Sunday. We are part of a global network serving the Church in over 120 countries.
We seek to help the faithful to understand and respond to the call of mission. We respect all cultures and traditions by treating everyone as brothers and sisters under one loving God. Because of your kindness, we can support overseas missionaries, serving in some of the most impoverished areas of the world, through their challenges, struggles and hardships.
You can donate to Missio Ireland at https://missio.ie/donate/