Recently, I watched a visiting missionary priest open his homily by asking people to raise their hands if they were a missionary. Only three hands went up – and that included the missionary himself! He went on to explain how, by virtue of our Baptism, we are all called to be missionaries, and then asked the question again. This time, all hands went up. Seeing the congregation with their hands held high in affirmation was a powerful symbol to me, and I found myself thinking about what it would look like on World Mission Sunday if all hands, in all the churches throughout the world were raised high – unified in their commitment to continue the work of Jesus Christ. What a profound image!

The focus of this year’s World Mission Sunday, on the weekend of October 21-22, is driven by the Holy Father’s message in which he emphasizes that mission is at the heart of the Christian Faith. In particular, he says:

The world vitally needs the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Through the Church, Christ continues his mission as the Good Samaritan, caring for the bleeding wounds of humanity, and as Good Shepherd, constantly seeking out those who wander along winding paths that lead nowhere.

World Mission Sunday provides all Catholics with an opportunity to continue our Lord’s mission – stepping outside our borders and boundaries to bring the Good News to our brothers and sisters all throughout the world. Together we can support the young mission dioceses in Africa, Asia, the Pacific Islands, and part of Latin American and Europe where missionary priests, religious and lay leaders share our faith and serve those most in need.

At this time, I invite and encourage you to get to the heart of our faith and join with the worldwide Church in raising your hands in a resounding “YES” to the question:  Are you a missionary?

If our Mission Office staff can be of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us: Phone: (213) 637-7223;  E-Mail:

Donations to World Mission Sunday can be made online by clicking here.   Thank you in advance for your participation in World Mission Sunday.


God bless!

Reverend Monsignor Terrance L. Fleming
Archdiocesan Director