This Sunday is World Mission Day, a day set aside for Catholics around the world to gather, fundraise and pray for global mission.
“We reach out to people in our world, giving expression to the Church’s desire to be of service to those who are vulnerable,” says Catholic Mission National Director, Fr Brian Lucas.
“These Covid-times are challenging for everyone,” says Fr Brian, “But want we want to assure people that the missionaries of the church are still present, still available in service of the people.”
This year World Mission Month in October has focused on the essential work of priests, religious and lay missionaries in Cambodia, supporting people with disability and their families. A familiar face to supporters of Catholic Mission is Bishop Enrique “Kike” Figaredo Alvargonzalez, a tireless advocate for people with disability in Cambodia.
Bishop “Kike” also features in an inspirational video produced by Catholic Mission, that connects mission partners across the world and gives witness to their continued presence. More than 30 missionaries based in over 25 different countries speak of hope in a variety of languages. From Australia, the #WeAreStillHere global video has been shared around the world and has been translated into more than a dozen different and diverse languages, including Zulu.
“This initiative for world mission Sunday, to demonstrate the continuing presence of missionaries in remote places, has become a major example of international cooperation”, says Fr Brian.
At its heart though, the video, launched as part of World Mission Month, has a simple message, but with great impact: we are still here.
#WeAreStillHere global video
These sentiments are echoed by Pope Francis in his message for World Mission Day 2020 as he encourages us to give generously and support mission work.
“The celebration of World Mission Day is also an occasion for reaffirming how prayer, reflection and the material help of your offerings are so many opportunities to participate actively in the mission of Jesus in his Church,” Pope Francis says,
"The charity expressed ... is aimed at supporting the missionary work carried out in my name by the Pontifical Mission Societies, in order to meet the spiritual and material needs of peoples and Churches throughout the world, for the salvation of all".
This support that the Pope speaks of is witnessed in Parishes and Schools in Dioceses right around Australia as people of faith take up their personal mission.