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 and humbled by the Church family’s response to EMM2019. In big and small ways, individuals and communities have been sharing their personal missions. And a global social media campaign has seen thousands of people stepping up and proclaiming their mission to the world.
Mission is alive and thriving!
As always, our children and young people have led the way! What amazing missions we’ve witnessed! From personal commitments to pick up litter, be kind and protect the environment, to assemblies and displays created by pupils to involve their whole schools and communities in prayer, fundraising and outreach, Mission is alive and well and thriving in the younger generation.
All throughout October, Missio has been proud and honoured to celebrate Mission with schools around England and Wales. We’ve been able to share and learn from these brilliant pupils and their dedicated teachers. Here are just a few of the many, many Masses and initiatives that have been happening throughout October.
Celebrating St Thérèse in Westminster
On 2 October, we joined about 350 pupils from 24 schools from Westminster diocese in the Cathedral. What better way to start the EMM than with a special Mass to celebrate the Feast of St Thérèse of Lisieux, patroness of mission and missionaries.
In his sermon, Missio’s National Director, Fr Tony Chantry, explained to the congregation what Mission means. He shared the story of Johannes, a young boy from South Africa whom many children will recognise from their fundraising for Mission Together this year.
Thank you, Westminster, for the warm welcome and participation!
Fundraising for Mission in Northampton
A whopping 850 pupils (45 schools) attended a special EMM2019 Mass in Northampton with Bishop Peter Doyle. The Mass took place at St Mary’s Church Dunstable. Schools in the diocese presented Mission Together with a cheque for just under £12,000 after their ‘Year of Missio’. What an incredible achievement – thank you all for your generosity and commitment to Mission!
Singing out in Swansea
On 16 October, we celebrated Mass in St Joseph’s Cathedral, Swansea with 17 schools and nearly 500 pupils. Many of the chaplaincy teams and faith councils from primary schools had met in the days beforehand to discuss Mission and how they can continue to support Mission Together.
The pupils set the cathedral ringing with the Welsh version of the EMM Prayer. And their rendition of ‘Calon Lan’ during the Offertory Procession demonstrated their wonderful singing voices. Diolch! Thank you children in Menevia diocese for making us so welcome!
A creative service in Clifton
Clifton Cathedral was the venue for the Diocesan Education Mass. All members of the schools’ community – pupils, staff and governors – joined Bishop Declan in the celebration. Schools from across the diocese reverently led the music, drama and reflections.
The students offered gifts for Mission Together – the result of months of fundraising. In his thank-you address, Fr Tony led pupils in the prayer for the Extraordinary Month of Mission. He praised the huge support schools had given through their participation in Missio’s postcard competition for the month.
Congratulations Clifton for your hard work and a wonderful celebration.
We presented all the children who took part in these special Mission Together Masses with an EMM prayer card, to help them to continue to be missionaries of God’s love after the month is over. Each of their schools received a Mission Together candle to remind them that they are the bearers of Christ’s light to the world.
We are so grateful to everyone who takes part and supports Mission Together. Your example of ‘Children Helping Children’ has shone brightly during EMM2019 and beyond. Thank you for every prayer and penny you send – it all goes to support and help children just like you around the world and let them know that they are part of God’s family and are loved.
Article written by Claud Fullwood