‘Sock it to poverty’ during World Mission Month
This year, for the first time ever, Catholic Mission’s hallmark celebration will have a special joint focus on two mission areas when it launches on 1 September.
World Mission Month, celebrated annually in October by millions of Catholics, will this year profile the work of dedicated missionaries in Madagascar as well as remote Indigenous Australia.
The month-long celebration traditionally profiles just one country—in 2014 the campaign highlighted the mission to build a Catholic community and overcome endemic violence and crime in Jamaica.
Catholic Mission National Director Martin Teulan says the new approach will better enable Australians to witness the incredible work of mission happening in places all around the world. "It is expected that around 1,100 appeals will take place in parishes around Australia during World Mission Month this year," he said.
"At the heart of these appeals will be the story of Sister Alma Cabassi and other missionaries providing spiritual and practical support to Indigenous Australians in remote dioceses such as Broome and Wilcannia-Forbes.
"Meanwhile, students in Catholic schools around Australia will learn about Madagascar, where efforts are being made to provide children with clean water for drinking and sanitation, while also enlivening their faith."
Sister Rose Rasoavololona, a missionary working in the island nation off Africa’s east coast, has overseen the installation of six water pumps and eight toilet blocks at the Catholic school where she has been a principal for 12 years. She also provides the ‘Living Water’ the children need, through the provision of religious education materials.
|Sister Marie Rose Rasoavololona, Madagascar Vatomandry Tomasina|
Catholic Mission’s schools fundraising campaign ‘Socktober’ encourages school students, their teachers and their families to ‘Sock it to poverty’ by raising funds for Madagascar and other areas in need through creative, sock-themed initiatives. These can include a ‘Crazy Sock Day’, a ‘Rock Your Socks Off’ disco, or a sock puppet theatre.
In addition, resources are available online to anyone wishing to learn more about mission, or who would like to fundraise, advocate or pray for people in need in Madagascar, Indigenous Australia, and all around the world. These resources include the powerful DVD, 'I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink', which tells Sr Rose’s story.
Mr Teulan says the resources and the parish appeals will encourage all Australians to take up Pope Francis’ call to be missionary disciples. "Pope Francis says in his World Mission Day address, 'Mission is a passion for Jesus and a passion for his people'," said Mr Teulan. "The stories that flow through this year’s World Mission Month appeals show the often unsung work of these wonderful, dedicated missionaries of Jesus, both overseas and here in Australia."
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