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Background: World Mission Sunday

October 22, 2021

On October 24, the Church around the world commemorates World Mission Sunday. The theme of the Pope’s message for the day is “We cannot but speak about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20).

At an October 21 press conference (video), Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, said, “We cannot keep to ourselves the encounter with God who has touched our hearts and who has done marvelous works. Like the apostles, let us share the love that we have experienced. . . . We must recover this aspect: the mission is in the heart of each one of us, each baptized person is a missionary of the Kingdom of God, the mission is a call for all the baptized.”

Discussing the importance of personal encounter, Cardinal Tagle also said that “there are some facts of life that cannot be digitalized and cannot remain digitalized. We are corporeal beings. We need contact.”

World Mission Sunday was instituted by Pope Pius XI in 1926 and first commemorated in 1927. As St. John Paul II explained in 2001, Pope Pius “accepted a request by the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith to ‘establish a day of prayer and propaganda for the missions’ to be celebrated on the same day in every diocese, parish and institute of the Catholic world . . . and to encourage offerings for the missions.”


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