Catholic Culture Resources
Catholic Culture Resources

Catholic Dictionary




The term literally denotes "sending" and covers a variety of meanings, all somehow expressing the idea of a going forth from one person to others in order to effect some beneficial change in their favor. At the highest level are the divine missions of the Trinity: the visible mission of the Second Person, sent by the Father in the person of Jesus Christ, and the invisible mission of the Holy Spirit, sent by the Father and the Son. Christ then sent the Apostles to make disciples of all nations. Their mission was to preach the Gospel, baptize, and teach the people "to observe all the commands I gave you" (Matthew 28:19-20). The Apostles, in turn, personally and through their successors have been sending other faithful to continue the work of the Master in evangelizing the human race. Mission, therefore, is the purpose of vocation. All who are called to follow Christ are sent by Christ, in the person of his Church, to extend the Kingdom of God. (Etym. Latin missio, a sending.)