Pope Francis proclaims October 2019: Extraordinary Missionary Month


This past Sunday Pope Francis celebrated World Mission Sunday by proclaiming October 2019 an "Extraordinary Missionary Month." The Holy Father said, "I also recall, that I intend to promote an Extraordinary Missionary Month in October 2019, in order to nourish the ardor of the evangelizing activity of the Church ad gentes. On the day of the liturgical memory of Saint John Paul II, missionary Pope, we entrust to his intercession the mission of the Church in the world.”

What Pope Francis is referring to is an idea that was discussed at a meeting with members of the Pontifical Mission Societies. CNA gave the following report back in June:

"Francis said that he hopes the month will be a promising time of prayer and reflection on the testimony of missionary saints and martyrs, the Bible and theology, as well as catechesis and charitable missionary work towards the evangelization of the Church.

This taking place: the Church may 'once again find the freshness and ardor of the first love for the crucified and risen Lord,' going out to 'evangelize the world with credibility and evangelical efficacy.'

The month of October 2019 was chosen because of its proximity to the centenary anniversary of the publication of Pope Benedict XV’s apostolic letter, Maximum Illud, which was published on Nov. 30, 1919."

This is an important event in the Church, connected to the heart of the Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network. We are a missionary apostolate, as it is written in our Way of the Heart:

This network is formed by those who make themselves available to collaborate in Christ’s mission through the daily offering of their lives, in any place or situation they may be. The call to the mission is the fire that makes us apostles sent from the heart of the Father to the heart of the world.

As we look forward to 2019, let us remember our own role as modern-day missionaries, taking the love of Christ into a world that urgently needs it.