Sunday October 21 is World Mission Day, which the Church traditionally sets aside to support the work of Missio, writes CANON MICHAEL LOUGHLIN.

Missio is the Pope’s official charity for overseas mission and is part of the worldwide network of Pontifical Mission Societies.

It has four main parts. The work of Missio is best known through the Association for the Propagation of the Faith (APF) red mission boxes.

The APF supports 1,069 mission dioceses throughout the world and is responsible for building new churches and providing care to young faith communities.

The Society of St Peter the Apostle should be better known, as it has the unique role of training the future leaders of the Church in mission dioceses.

It only costs £500 a year to train a priest in some countries and it would be wonderful if every parish in the diocese could sponsor a student for the priesthood.

The commitment is for four years and it creates a positive link with the growing church abroad.

Missio’s work with children is done through Mission Together. It provides healthcare and education for the world’s poorest children regardless of background or belief. Many of our diocesan schools support the work of Mission Together.

The Pontifical Mission Union promotes an awareness of mission and a spirit of unity, prayer and generous sacrifice among priests, religious and laity.

World Mission Sunday provides me as diocesan director of Missio with an opportunity to thank everybody who supports the work of Mission, all mission box holders and collectors, the schools who support Mission Together and the sponsors of students abroad.

Please support the retiring collection taking place in each parish for this work on World Mission Day.

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