OPEN LETTER FOR THE MISSION MONTH / SUNDAY 2013
Dear Archbishops, Bishops, Fathers, Sisters and all Friends
The Year of Faith will come to an end with World Mission Sunday, which takes place on October 20 in all the parishes of the world. But the mission of Christ and our mission do not end with World Mission Sunday. Because all the baptized are jointly responsible for the proclamation of the Word of God at all times. We are all sent to proclaim the Good News. Thus, the whole Church is missionary; each of us according to our own charisma and gifts.
A duty of every baptized person is to be supportive to his brother and sister who need more help. The commitment of our Church cannot come down to a maintenance and proclamation pastoral at home. Our missionary zeal and solidarity towards the poorest Churches are "clear and concrete signs of the maturity of an ecclesial community" (Verbum Domini, 95). The Church has to go towards everyone along with the power of the Spirit (cf. 1 Cor. 2, 5) and continue to preach the Good News. But "the missionary nature of the Church is not proselytizing, but rather a testimony of life that illuminates the path, bringing hope and love. The Church ‑ I repeat it ‑ is not a business or an NGO, but a community of people who are driven by the action of the Holy Spirit and who have experienced and experience the amazement of encountering Jesus Christ and who want to share this experience of deep joy, share the message of salvation that the Lord has given to us." (Message of the Holy Father for World Mission Sunday 2013)
I had the privilege of meeting Pope Francis in person during the Annual General Meeting of the Pontifical Mission Societies in 17th May 2013. Present on that occasion were the 160 National Directors from all parts of the world and the Secretaries and staff of the central office in Rome.
He noted the importance of the work of the Pontifical Mission Societies. “They are fully up to date, indeed they are still needed today because there are so many peoples who are still not acquainted with Christ and have not yet encountered him. It is urgently necessary to find new forms and new ways to ensure that God’s grace may touch the heart of every man and of every woman and lead them to him. We are all simple but important instruments of God; we have not received the gift of faith to keep it hidden, but, rather, to spread it so that it can illumine a great many of our brethren on their journey.”
He spoke in few words and then he individually met all who were inside the Pope Clement Hall. When my turn came up, I presented myself as representing PNG and SI and I assure him of our prayer and asked for his blessing on our PNG & SI Church. He thanked and he promised to pray for us.
Surely, mission is a blessing — it is a blessing that binds us as partners of God in His Mission to bring transformation and healing. In the words of Pope Francis, “Everyone should be able to experience the joy of being loved by God, the Joy of Salvation.” And we are not alone in fulfilling it. God is with us as he has promised.
Therefore, I am happy to send you some materials for Mission Month and World Mission Sunday. I hope they will be helpful to rekindle the missionary spirit. You can distribute all these materials and use them in whatever way you like. The poster is on the way. I hope these materials won’t stay in your computer.
In order to save the cost of printing and postage and time, please multiply them and distribute these materials as soon as possible. Multiply them according to your needs. The cost of coping can be deducted from the Mission Sunday Collection. Together, we can do a lot.
As we prepare ourselves for the General Assembly of the Catholic Church in Madang we want to rethink our duty as Catholics, as the members of PNG & SI Church.
May our prayer and our common service to the mission of Christ be a sign of unity and communion of the Church who is One, Catholic, and Universal
Please receive my greetings and missionary prayers in the liberating Christ.
Fr. Valentine Gryk, SVD
National Director of the PMS
PNG & SI