October is Mission Month. It's the time of year when the Church highlights the missions, missionaries and the work of Missio Scotland - the official mission aid agency of the Catholic Church.

We're asking you to pray and if possible donate to the special, annual collection on World Mission Sunday (18 October), or do it online here.

To demonstrate the work of the missions we will be sharing stories throughout the month to show where your kind donations go.

Fr Paul Lee, of St Agatha's in Methil, is Missio Director for the Archdiocese. He said: “These stories get to the heart of the work that Missio Scotland does across the world. I hope they will inspire people across our Archdiocese to both pray for Missions and to donate what they can during this Mission month.”

Love amidst despair - making mission count

On the Feast of St Thérèse of Lisieux on (01 October) Archbishop Protase Rugambwa of Tanzania, (Secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples), emphasised the importance of our missionaries and the need to show God’s love to all during these most trying of times.

“The missionaries are there, alongside all of those who suffer, and are all the more important especially due to the impact of the global crisis,” he said. “This is a favourable moment for mission. We are called today to announce and show the love of God, above all, where there is suffering, misery and despair.”

Archbishop Rugambwa, quoting from Pope Francis’ message—'Here I am, send me' (Isaiah 6:8)—for World Mission Sunday, recalled that: “In a context profoundly marked by the Covid-19 pandemic, we must not be discouraged because mission is not the fruit of human capacity, but rather belongs to God—the Holy Spirit is the protagonist. The Lord takes the initiative, He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, and today He sends every Baptised person.”

Generous donations

Despite the difficulties faced by the various Pontifical Mission Societies worldwide, there has been no let up with regards to people’s generosity, with many having donated to the special emergency fund set up by the Holy Father earlier this year to help communities most affected by Covid-19.

Throughout the world, including here in Scotland, the PMS have endeavoured to continue to raise awareness of our work and it is hoped that the generosity shown in the midst of the pandemic will continue with the special collection that is taken up in parishes in every continent on World Mission Sunday.

This year, Missio Scotland’s campaign focuses on projects in Peru, namely a feeding programme for disabled children and a new parish house in Llusco, both in the Sicuani Prelature served by Bishop Pedro Bustamante—a man who has a close link to our own Fr Pat Hennessy in St Columbkille’s in Rutherglen. More information about the projects and Fr Pat’s time in Peru can be found in the news and features section of the Missio website.

Schools can also avail of resources including Mission Month Prayer Calendars, Mission Month Prayer Services and St Thérèse of Lisieux and Mission Rosary materials, all available on the website.

Importance of prayer

Pope Francis recently re-emphasised the importance of prayer, reflection and material help during Mission Month and beyond, in a message delivered via the Congregation for the Evangelisation of the Peoples.

“The celebration of World Mission Sunday is also an occasion for reaffirming how prayer, reflection and the material help of your offerings provide so many opportunities to participate actively in the mission of Jesus in His Church,” the Holy Father said.

“The charity expressed in the collections that take place during the Liturgical celebrations of the third Sunday of October is aimed at supporting the missionary work carries out in my name by the Pontifical Mission Societies, in order to meet the spiritual and material needs of peoples and Churches throughout the world, for the salvation of all.”

Please help Missio meet the spiritual and material needs of peoples and churches worldwide, during Mission Month and throughout the year. Donate here. Like Missio on social media: Facebook, Twitter: @Missio_Scotland; Instagram: MissioScotland. Donations can also be made by emailing admin@missioscotland.com or send donations to: Missio Scotland, St Andrews, 4 Laird Street, Coatbridge ML5 3LJ.