Over one billion Catholics all over the world observe today as World Mission Sunday. This annual observance was instituted in 1926 by a Papal decree issued by Pope Pius XI. Every year since then, the universal Church has dedicated the month of October to reflection on and prayer for the missions. On World Mission Sunday, Catholics gather to celebrate the Eucharist and to contribute to a collection for the work of evangelization around the world. This annual celebration gives us a chance to reflect on the importance of mission work for the life of the Church. It reminds us that we are one with the Church around the world and that we are all committed to carrying on the mission of Christ, however different our situations may be. Pope Francis, in his message for 2022 World Mission Sunday, reflected on the words of Jesus: “You shall be my witnesses”, “to the ends of the earth” and “you shall receive the power of the Holy Spirit.” The Pope said, “When it comes to Christian witness, the observation of Saint Paul VI remains ever valid: “Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses” (Evangelii Nuntiandi, 41). For this reason, the testimony of an authentic Christian life is fundamental for the transmission of the faith. On the other hand, the task of proclaiming Christ’s person and the message is equally necessary.” It is good to read the whole message at https://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/messages/missions/documents/20220106-giornata-missionaria.html
The mission of Jesus is not limited to the care of our souls but also of the mind and the body. Christianity is for holistic salvation as we focus on the health of each person’s mind, body and soul. While we do care for the body and soul, it is easy to neglect our mind. Mental health is a matter of great importance and we see the pervasive nature of mental illness around us. We don’t need statistics to prove it as we ourselves are witnesses to a multitude of problems associated with mental illness amongst and around us: depression, anxiety, personality disorders, eating disorders, psychotic disorders, PTSD, etc. That is why it is very commendable that our Parish Vocations Committee has taken the initiative, in collaboration with our NeXt Level youth ministry, to organize a free three part zoom series of seminars titled “Healthy Minds, Healthy Futures.”
These sessions are intended for parents, grandparents, teachers, catechists and all those who are concerned about our youth. The topics will certainly catch your attention and interest:
- October 26, 8 pm: The anxious depressed Child/Adolescent.
- November 2, 8 pm: How the Parental Relationship with God is Formative of the Child’s Spiritual Life.
- November 9, 8 pm: Risk Factors for Addictive Behaviors in Children/Adolescents
The presentations are by experts in this field and so I would request you not only to attend, but also spread the word and invite others to join this zoom session from the comfort of your home. For more info, see the flyer posted on our website, in our bulletin, and elsewhere on social media. We all long for mental health for ourselves and for all those who are near and dear to us as well as for our communities. Let us benefit from this timely offering.
Your brother in Christ,
Fr. Abraham Orapankal