‘You are Mission’

‘You are Mission’ is a message for all of us. As Pope Francis writes in his World Mission Day message this year, ‘Every man and woman is a mission; that is the reason for our life on this earth…No one is so poor as to be unable to give what they have, but first and foremost what they are…Never think that you have nothing to offer, or that nobody needs you. Many people need you.’ (Message from Pope Francis for World Mission Day, Rome 2018).

To celebrate World Mission Month (October), representatives from schools across the Diocese gathered at St Pius X High School auditorium at Adamstown for Children's Mission Day for a colourful liturgy led by Bishop Bill Wright followed by lunch.

The annual Mission Liturgy for schools is a peak event in Mission Month and is organised by Catholic Mission, the Australian arm of the international Pontifical Missionary Societies. Catholic Mission raises awareness and funds to undertake missionary activity in very needy parts of the world.

In the spirit of Pope Francis’ call for young people “get up off the couch” put on their shoes and go out into the world to make a difference, many students attending the liturgy had already taken the Pope’s call to heart.  Through various enjoyable activities and fundraising in their own school communities, they have shown great support for young people living in difficult circumstances in Myanmar.

This World Mission Month, students in Catholic schools across Australia were invited to ‘Sock it to Poverty’ by supporting strategies to make quality education more readily available to children in remote locations throughout Myanmar. Approximately 350 students and teachers joined with Bishop Bill to pray for the success of efforts to support the children of that country.

Schools of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle have maintained a strong contribution nationally as enthusiastic and effective partners in “Socktober” and other fundraising activities for mission. Student involvement is based on the principle of building awareness, empathy and action for “children helping children” around the globe.

Mark Toohey, Diocesan Director for Catholic Mission thanked those present for funds already raised and already being put to good use in Myanmar.

 “Our students are developing a strong commitment to being responsible global citizens” he said, “their empathy and concern for children in need around the world is truly moving … their actions are motivated by their deepening understanding of the Gospel and faith in Jesus Christ.”

“By putting our faith into action, we hope to provide a credible witness to the Gospel, encourage and nurture the faith of our students and provide essential funds to support the human and faith development of children around the world”, said Mr Toohey. 

If you would like to support the work of Catholic Mission and spread the joy of the Gospel to very needy parts of our world, please visit www.catholicmission.org.au or call Mark Toohey on (02) 4979 1141.

Photos courtesy of Jessica Ward

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Mark Toohey Image
Mark Toohey

Mark is the Diocesan Director for Catholic Mission in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.