AMERICA/COLOMBIA - “Mass leads to Mission”: October mission month celebrations in Colombia in harmony with the now imminent International Eucharistic Congress in Mexico

Thursday, 23 September 2004

Bogota (Fides Service) - As every year the Church in Colombia is about to begin celebrations for the mission month of October which will have its climax on Mission Sunday 24 October, a day marked by the Church all over the world. “Mass leads to Mission”, the slogan chosen for this year’s Mission Sunday by the Pontifical Mission Societies in Colombia is in full harmony with the now imminent International Eucharistic Congress in Mexico and it underlines that mission has its source in the Eucharist. In a note issued for Mission Sunday, a copy of which was sent to Fides, the national PMS office in Colombia states “only when we gather around the table of the Body and Blood of Christ and we contemplate the mystery of the Eucharist do we fully understand our origin and our missionary duty” .
Mission animation material prepared by the national office of the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith for Mission Sunday this year includes leaflets, posters, catechetical texts etc., to serve as a basis for mission animation in parishes, communities, groups. Themes for reflection in view of Mission Sunday highlight the missionary dimension of the Holy Mass. Among the themes we mention: “Contemplating Eucharist and the demands of our missionary vocation”; “Contemplating and sharing with Mary the universal saving power of the Eucharist”; “Contemplating in the Eucharist the fulfilment of the mission of redemption entrusted by the Father to his Son”. Each theme will follow the same structure: introductory prayer in the theme; Word of Life (Gospel passage in keeping with the theme); presentation of the theme; Did you know..? (information on missionary work); dialogue and commitments (reflection, assessment and concrete commitment).
Each week of the month will have its own theme for reflection and will be animated by a different group in the people of God. Week one will be dedicated to the committee for education with pupils of first and second grade as protagonists. Suggestions for activities include: mission animation in schools, institutions and groups. Mission cultural activities organised by young people. Missionary retreats or prayer vigils for young people. October 3 special mission mass for youth. Week two will be dedicated to families and the sick. Suggested activities: family meetings to prayer the missionary Rosary in church or at home missionary retreat for adults; group activities of apostolate and families to collect money for the missions; Masses for family of missionaries and sick missionaries. The third and fourth weeks will be animated by the parish committee for missions and the parish’s missionary families. Activities planned include animation of liturgical celebrations to thank God for the gift of faith and ask for the grace to share it; missionary Rosary prayer with families; parents meetings in institutions and schools; initiatives by sector committees, apostolic groups and families to collect offerings for the missions; Eucharistic celebration with renewal of consecration to mission and the presentation of the total sum collected for the missions. (R.Z.) (Agenzia Fides 22/9/2004; Righe 36, Parole 475)