Each October, Catholic Mission celebrates World Mission Month, a month dedicated to the life-giving work of missionaries around the world. This year, Catholic Mission is walking hand-in-hand with the Church of Ethiopia and local communities as it works towards providing life-changing opportunities to those most in need.
Pope Francis, in his 2022 World Mission Sunday message, invites everyone to answer the call to be missionary, reminding us that ‘Mission is carried out together, not individually.’
Through the Pontifical Mission Societies’ international network, Catholic Mission—along with our supporters—is answering the call of Christ to be missionaries and together build brighter futures. Working at a grassroots level and closely collaborating with local communities, we aim to find sustainable solutions that will bring hope to those in most need.
Catholic Mission is currently supporting a range of mission-development programs in Ethiopia addressing malnutrition, the lack of access to education for young children, and the vulnerable position of women in society.
In the rural region of Emdibir, where 70 per cent of families struggle to put food on their tables, Catholic Mission is working towards providing them with life-changing opportunities by building a goat-rearing centre. The resources produced through the centre will help fight malnutrition, a phenomenon that contributes to 50 per cent of child deaths. This project is led by Fr Habte, a local priest dedicated to raising the local community out of poverty by creating employment, providing sustainable food resources and bringing hope.
In the capital Addis Ababa, the life-giving work carried out by our local partners is helping children to access education. Sister Carmen Sammut SJA has created a scholarship program, offering children from families facing financial hardship places at school, so that they can continue their education and create opportunities for themselves.
We are also supporting women in the town of Meki to learn skills and gain financial independence by providing access to vocational training, which can help them secure employment or start their own businesses. This critical mission work is carried out by Maria, a lay missionary who dedicates her life to creating better futures for women in vulnerable situations.
To encourage missionary action among youth and school students in Australia, Catholic Mission continues this year with its flagship program Socktober. This program cultivates students’ passion for mission, encouraging them to rise up, engage their local community and take action against poverty through the world game of soccer. Providing young people in Australia with the opportunity to lead in mission, it encourages them to think not only of what they will do to help, but why they will do it.
‘Each year, the second last Sunday of October is dedicated to World Mission Sunday. Happening on 23 October, it also offers us the opportunity to commemorate 200 years of mission,’ says Fr Brian Lucas, Catholic Mission National Director.
Guided by the verse, ‘You shall be my witnesses’ (Acts 1:8), World Mission Month is not only a celebration of incredible missionaries around the world but also a celebration of the missionary vocation that lives in all of us.
Fiona Basile30 November 2022
Melbourne Catholic30 November 2022