To be read at the Masses or used as a Bulletin Insert on the Weekend of September 28-29
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
One hundred years ago, Pope Benedict XV wrote the Apostolic Letter, Maximum Illud. This papal document focuses on the missionary call of all the baptized to proclaim the Gospel. In honor of the 100th anniversary of this important missionary message, Pope Francis has marked the month of October as Extraordinary Missionary Month.
During this month of October, Pope Francis invites all baptized Christians to a personal encounter with Jesus Christ through prayer, meditation on the Word of God, and pilgrimage. We move beyond the typical “heroic vision” of missionaries and reinforce the transforming relationship between faith and the world to which we are all called. Pope Francis reminds us that we are each “Baptized and Sent;” we are all the “Church of Christ on Mission in the World.”
I invite all in our diocese to take this opportunity to strengthen our ardor, passion, and zeal for the faith with loving missionary hearts. We can respond to our missionary call by giving generously to the collection for the Society for the Propagation of the Faith in celebration of World Mission Sunday at the Masses of October 19-20.
Your gifts support and sustain priests, consecrated religious and lay pastoral leaders in more than 1,100 mission dioceses in Asia, Africa, the Pacific Islands, Latin America and Europe where, as Disciples in Mission, they proclaim the Gospel, build the Church, and serve the poor.
As I thank you for your continuous commitment to mission, I share my personal gratitude for your generous response on this World Mission Sunday appeal, and throughout the Extraordinary Missionary Month. We join our hearts in the prayer of our Holy Father for this special moment for the Missions: “May the love for the Church’s Mission, which is a passion for Jesus and a passion for His people, grow ever stronger!”
Faithfully yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Terry R. LaValley
Bishop of Ogdensburg