Sydney - (Agenzia Fides) - A thousand faces for mission: with this spirit, which expresses the universality of the Church's mission and the call of all the baptized to be "sent" to proclaim and witness the Gospel, "Catholic Mission", National Direction of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Australia, wanted to connect faces and missionary experiences present in over 25 countries around the world, that speak a variety of languages and cultures, in a video that uses the claim #WeAreStillHere".
Produced by "Catholic Mission", and shared with the Pontifical Mission Societies around the world, the video is inspired by the words of Pope Francis and is part of the global awareness campaign, launched as part of the month of October, the "Missionary Month", and in view of World Mission Sunday, October 18.
Missionary October is a time when Catholics from all over the world come together to support and celebrate the missionary work of the Church. In this sense "Catholic Mission, together with the international network of the Pontifical Mission Societies, is alongside some of the most vulnerable people in the world", explains the National Director of "Catholic Mission", Fr Brian Lucas in a note sent to Fides.
"This year our Mission Month campaign is focused on Cambodia, especially supporting people with disabilities and their families", he reports. But this "is just one of the many examples of the missionary work supported by Catholic Mission. Thanks to the generosity of all donors, this support can change the lives of many people, among the poorest", specifies Fr. Lucas.
The mobilization campaign, always intended to emphasize the evangelizing mission of the Church, makes use, among others, of the contribution of Bishop Enrique Figaredo Alvar Gonzalez SJ, at the head of the Apostolic Prefecture of Battambang, in the North-West of Cambodia, where for over 20 years they have accompanied and provided learning and growth opportunities for people with disabilities.
Another missionary experience involved is that of Eden Gardens Children’s Home in Nagaland, a state in northeastern India. Sixteen children are welcomed here who have no family or a safe place to return to during the crisis. "For those children who have nowhere to go, Eden Gardens stays open all day, every day. Our mission is to help children, whoever is here, under any circumstances. We are here, with solidarity and compassion, doing our best to keep the reception center alive", said Fr Rajesh Lobo, Director of the house.
Bishop Figuaredo and Fr. Rajesh Lobo are among "the thousand faces of the mission" who contribute to spreading "a local message with a global impact". "We are still here": four simple words to comfort the lives of some of the most vulnerable communities in the world, facing the devastating impact of the global crisis caused by Covid-19.
With the hashtag #WeAreStillHere, the Pontifical Mission Societies promote the message of proximity and fundraising which - also thanks to social media - is rapidly becoming the international appeal used by Catholic missionaries around the world. Father Brian Lucas says: "In times of difficulty, it is important to remain united. Covid-19 is having a significant impact on many small realities and evangelical works in many poor countries: it is essential today to continue to support missionary work for the most vulnerable".
The Director of the Australian PMS concludes: "Only four words - We are still here - constitute a simple message of great impact: we want to say that the most needy are still offered the best material, spiritual and pastoral support possible, during the current global emergency. Missionaries from all over the world continue to dedicate their entire lives to their communities, living and bearing witness to the Gospel and the love of Christ at the service of others". (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 16/9/2020)