As we mourn those killed in Gaza, we renew our mission to stand in faith, hope and solidarity with our global family.
We are deeply shocked and saddened to hear news of the bombing of St Porphyrios Church in Gaza, which killed at least 18 innocent people seeking sanctuary.
The airstrikes collapsed two church halls which had been opened to women, men, and children, seeking shelter from the ongoing attacks. At least 18 people were killed, including nine children. The Church is very close to the Catholic Church of the Holy Family which is sheltering over 500 people who are too weak or too scared to flee to the South of Gaza.
Our Prayers are with them
We offer our prayers for all who have been killed and injured, and all who are living through such attacks after suffering for so long. May the souls of the departed rest in God’s eternal peace, and may their loved ones be comforted.
We join the Holy Father, Cardinal Pizzaballa, and our global Christian family in a heartfelt cry for peace, and echo the sentiments expressed by the Patriarchs and Heads of the Churches in Jerusalem:
‘Even in the face of ceaseless military demands to evacuate our charitable institutions and houses of worship, we will not abandon this Christian mission, for there is literally no other safe place for these innocents to turn.’
Pope Francis’ response
The Holy Father has also lead pleas for peace and restraint in Gaza, saying:
‘War solves no problems. It only sows death and destruction, increases hatred, multiplies revenge. War erases the future, it erases the future.’
We join Pope Francis in prayer, and in the ceaseless quest for peace in our world.
On World Mission Sunday, please pray for those who ‘are still here’
This weekend the Pope asks every Catholic in the world to mark World Mission Sunday, to pray for our global Church family and to share what we can to support Catholic communities that are new, young, or poor. Now, more than ever the faith and hope which unite us are so important.
World Mission Sunday is a reminder of the solidarity we share as brothers and sisters in Christ and the unity that belonging to Christ brings. The same Eucharist we share today unites us as one body wherever we are in the world.
We remember in a special way the Sisters of the Rosary, based in in the only Catholic parish in Gaza. The Sisters have chosen to stay with the people sheltering in the Church. They are praying fervently for peace and offering God’s love and consolation to those who are too weak or old to flee.
Why World Mission Sunday is more important than ever
Your prayers and support on World Mission Sunday enable new and struggling communities to grow, to become self-sufficient, and most importantly to join together to celebrate the Sacraments; to hear God’s Word, to support each other; and to pray with and for one another.
World Mission Sunday supports thousands of missionaries across the world. Your prayers and donations ensure their presence, the Church’s presence, Christ’s presence, in some of the most difficult and dangerous places in the world.
The call to solidarity and communion
Through Missio on World Mission Sunday, you also enable the training of religious sisters and priests in mission dioceses around the world.
It is missionaries like the Sisters of the Rosary who, in situations of conflict or natural disasters, are often the first to respond and the last to leave.
Today more than ever we are called to live out the solidarity of being in communion with one another as one body in Christ: different parts working together to build God’s kingdom of justice, mercy, and peace.