2019 has been a truly special year for the worldwide Church family. Pope Francis declared October to be an ‘Extraordinary Month of Mission’ (EMM). Its aim: to encourage all members of our Catholic community to recognise themselves as missionary disciples, working and praying together to share God’s love with everyone, everywhere. At Mission Together we’ve been inspired by the response to EMM from schools and parishes around the country. St Peter and St Paul Primary School and Parish in Yeadon, Leeds Diocese, provided a brilliant example.
A whole Month for Mission
Working together, Mrs Angela Filarowski (RE Lead) and Fr John Carlise, devised a timetable of liturgies, activities, and assemblies to explore the four main aims of EMM:
- To encourage a deeper relationship with Jesus through prayer.
- To be inspired by the actions of our saints, martyrs and living missionaries.
- To increase support of overseas mission
- To increase understanding of mission.
EMM began on Sunday 29th September with a Parish Mass at St Peter and St Paul’s, animated by young people from the parish. As the month continued, pupils learned about St Thérèse of Lisieux, Patron of Missionaries, and how we can all follow her little way of kindness. They learned about the charity Mission Together, and how through prayer and sharing, children are showing the world that we are all part of God’s family, a family that Jesus asks us to love and care for.
Uniting school, home and parish
Pupils also received with a Mission Rosary and learned how to use the different coloured beads to pray for children in different continents. In an open classroom ‘Stay and Pray’ session, parents were invited to pray the Mission Rosary with their children – just one of many prayer times and liturgies organised to unite school, home and parish during this special month.
Other highlights of EMM at St Peter and St Paul included a colourful cake sale, a mini world football tournament, involving pupils and parents, and the composition of a beautiful hymn This is Our Mission, sung to great effect during a moving pupil Holy Hour.
It’s never too late to start your mission!
October is now over. But EMM doesn’t need to stop. It was intended to be a springboard; the beginnings of a revival of mission in the Church. Schools and parishes inspired by St Peter and St Paul, Yeadon can still hold their own mission events in the months ahead.
We want to say a big thank you to St Peter and St Paul School and Parish for all their EMM efforts, and for all schools who have embraced the call to be missionaries of God’s love in the world. Your enthusiasm for mission clearly puts the words of Pope Francis into practice:
‘The Church which “goes forth” is a community of missionary disciples who take the first step, who are involved and supportive, who bear fruit and rejoice.’
You can find the EMM resources St Peter and St Paul used in support of their mission drive on the Mission Together website. This includes the music and lyrics for This is Our Mission. Written and gifted by Mrs Filarowski, This is Our Mission, is now available to download free via https://missiontogether.org.uk/teachers-resources/extraordinary-month-of-mission/