Called Forth this World Mission Sunday

October 20, 2022
Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. John’s,
World Mission Sunday!
Welcome to the month of Saints, the Rosary and Missions! It is October, so my mind always goes to All Saints Day – and All Hallows Eve, (Halloween). What a time to investigate lives of the saints and learn from them. There are SO MANY intriguing stories about ordinary people who lived extraordinary lives, much like you and I can. Have you heard of Blessed Carlo Acutis, the 15-year-old normal teenager who researched Eucharistic Miracles and died as recently as 2006? Do you know of Nicholas Black Elk, a dedicated catechist of South Dakota’s Ogalala Lakota Nation who is now being investigated for sainthood? How about St. John Vianney, who barely made it through seminary but is now the patron of Priests? Do you know the story of St. Philomena, the only saint to be made a saint based on the miracles due to her intercession after she was dead and buried? How about St. Gianna Molla, a doctor, and mother who chose the life of her unborn child over her own. That daughter is still living and sharing about her saintly mother. There. Are. So. Many. Start an investigation of your own. 

I am often drawn to those who are in the process of moving through the steps to Canonization (the process of becoming a saint) – I call them saints-in-waiting. World Mission Sunday brings two of them to the forefront: Pauline Jaricot and Archbishop Fulton Sheen. 200 years ago, Pauline Jaricot founded the Propagation of the Faith, the organization that promotes World Mission Sunday. She was also the catalyst behind St. Philomena being canonized – look up their story! The second saint-in-waiting is Archbishop Fulton Sheen, the host of “Life Is Worth Living” on TV. He taught the Catholic Faith on television! And he had flare! He won an Academy Award for Most Outstanding Personality in 1952! Crazy, huh?! Well, he was also in charge of the Office of the Propagation of the Faith for 16 years and was very successful promoting the need to serve others across the world. That is what we are focusing on this weekend. He also created the Mission Rosary – once you’ve prayed it, you’ve prayed for the whole world.

We often hear about missions and missionaries, but do you ever think about how YOU fit into the scheme of things? ALL OF US are called, by our Baptism, to be missionaries. There are different ways to live that out: to go, to promote, to work locally, to pray, to give financially…what is God asking of YOU? This year’s theme is “You Shall Be My Witnesses” (Acts 1:8). Pope Francis asks us to consider the missionary journey of the whole Church. How do you and I fit into that overall plan? Some of us can go on short-term missions, some can uproot and go for years. But what about the work of the St. Vincent de Paul Society or Sharing & Caring Hands? What of the Kidz Closet, the Food Shelf, or the Quilters? All these and more are local outreaches that meet the needs of others. Do you have a tug on your heart to build churches or feed children? Find the missions that do that – two of them are represented here at SJB – Building Bridges Liberia and Mary’s Meals. They will have tables up this weekend in the Plaza, stop by and learn about them. 

In whatever you do – BE JESUS’ WITNESS! 
In Christ,

Mary Kohlhaas
Pastoral Care Coordinator