Around the world, the Church is preparing for the Extraordinary Month of Mission. His Holiness Pope Francis declared October 2019 a special month of of prayer and action. And Catholics worldwide are reflecting on how to renew our missionary commitment to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. In Pakistan, the focus is on young people and the next generation of missionaries.
‘The Extraordinary Missionary Month will be a new wave of evangelisation in the Church in Pakistan… a time to reach those who are far from the Church,’ says Bishop Samson Shukardin of Hyderabad diocese. ‘In Pakistan, we have planned to involve people of all ages and states of life in this special Month for the Mission, including young people and children”. Bishop Shukardin, who is president of the episcopal commission that oversees the Pontifical Mission Societies in Pakistan, continued,
‘The Church in Pakistan actively follows Pope Francis. This Month will help us once again to learn about our mission, to deepen and understand our missionary vocation as baptised.’
Young people proclaim the Gospel
What’s more, the Church in Pakistan is placing the next generation front and centre. ‘We young people are entrusted with the proclamation of the Gospel,’ says Ayyaz Gulzar, national coordinator of Jesus Youth Pakistan. ‘Strengthened by the grace of the Sacraments, we will actively respond to Pope Francis’ appeal.’
Back in March, the Catholic youth movement organised a meeting at the Karachi Catechetical Centre to raise awareness and inform about EMM2019 and its theme ‘Baptised and sent: the Church of Christ on mission in the world’.
‘Every baptised person is a missionary’
‘Let’s not forget that every baptised person is a missionary,’ says Gulzar. ‘Prayer, reflection and action are important ways to have a real encounter with Jesus Christ’.
The Jesus Youth Pakistan movement is enthusiastically getting ready for October.
‘We encourage everyone to start preparing for it, to talk with family members, friends and to contact other faithful to make this special month dedicated to the mission meaningful’.
‘The Church is missionary by nature’
Pope Francis announced EMM2019 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Pope Benedict XV’s apostolic letter Maximum Illud. ‘The Church is missionary by nature,’ Gulzar told attendees at the meeting. ‘In the extraordinary month dedicated to the mission, we are called to live our faith with conviction and joy, to convert our hearts and minds, to be missionary disciples.
‘God’s love urges us to go into the world to announce the crucified and risen Christ’.
Atif Sharif, a member of Jesus Youth Pakistan, said: ‘This Month will be very useful. Thanks to the Eucharist and the life of the saints, it will be a time to deepen our faith and to live our mission in this world’.
Missio in Pakistan
Missio shared our work in Pakistan, and the story of seminarian Amoon Nathaniel, through our SPA appeal. Christians only make up around 2% of Pakistan’s population of 207 million. But their witness to Jesus Christ can a threat to those few with hard-line beliefs. Nonetheless, most people in Pakistan want to live in peace. And thanks to the bravery and passion of people of all faiths willing to reach out across social and religious divides, missionaries, seminarians and lay Catholics in Pakistan are building strong and caring communities in a spirit of respect and reconciliation. Read more>>
Join us for EMM2019
As the Pope’s official charity for overseas mission, Missio enables Catholics in England and Wales to live out the call received at Baptism: to share in the Church’s universal mission. And in the lead-up to EMM 2019, Missio will be here to provide expertise, materials and support to dioceses. You can find out more on our EMM2019 page, join us on Facebook and Twitter, and use our resources to help celebrate this special month both individually and with your community.