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October 10, 2005

World Mission Sunday Re-Ignites Missionary Spirit in Archdiocese

In an effort to re-ignite the missionary spirit of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, has taken an inspiring approach to animate the missionary spirit of the faithful.

The program Re-Igniting the Missionary Spirit fosters awareness of the missions in a particular continent each year, based on the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortations for each of the five continents. This year the Archdiocese is celebrating the missions in Africa, with Asia, America, Europe, and Oceania to follow in subsequent years.

By Divine Providence, this past year’s spiritual and educational outreach programs which focused on Africa happened to coincide with the Live 8 and G8 efforts to relieve the debt of African countries. His Eminence saw this as an evangelizing moment and, through radio announcements, explained the peace and justice initiatives, and human service organizations offered through the Church in Africa.

The culmination of this year-long focus will be in October, particularly on Mission Sunday, October 23, 2005 as the universal Church recalls and prays for missionaries around the globe. Cardinal Rigali is pleased to welcome the Papal Nuncio of Sudan, Archbishop Dominic Mamberti, to speak to the faithful at the World Mission Sunday Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul. Archbishop Mamberti also serves as the Apostolic Nuncio to Eritrea and formerly served at the Holy See mission to the United Nations.
In addition to the World Mission Sunday Mass, Archbishop Mamberti will speak at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary on Thursday, October 20, 2005. This talk will also coincide with a discussion panel of representatives from Catholic Relief Services, St. Joseph’s University, and mission-sending organizations such as the Missionary Sisters of the Holy Rosary.

The collaborative nature of the panel stems from the recent annual conference of the Pontifical Mission Societies of the United States, which was hosted by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia this past April. At the conference, Cardinal Avery Dulles, SJ, spoke on the historical significance of the decree Ad Gentes. Msgr. John Kozar, National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States, highlighted the need for collaboration in missionary efforts after his visit to tsunami-affected regions. In an effort to deepen the collaboration and effectiveness of mission and relief efforts, representatives from Catholic Relief Services also spoke.

Mario Dickerson
The Society for the Propagation of the Faith

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