Thursday, June 11, 2009

Catholic Church re-focuses missionary work

Christian Today
Posted: Thursday, June 11, 2009, 11:00 (BST)

The world’s largest missionary society is to relaunch in September as Missio in England & Wales, it was announced this week.

The Catholic agency, Pontifical Mission Societies in England & Wales, announced the change following a Mass celebrated by Archbishop Faustino Sainz Muñoz, Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain, and reception at their London headquarters on Tuesday.

Mission said the Apostolic Nuncio’s presence demonstrated the importance of mission to Pope Benedict XVI and the Church as a whole.

Missio said its new name symbolised unity in faith and mission in overseeing the support given to the 1,069 mission dioceses in the world through the collection of funds and support according to their needs. These include supporting 194,855 schools, 5,246 hospitals, 17,530 dispensaries, 577 leprosy centres and 80,560 social and pastoral projects worldwide. Funds collected in each diocese of England and Wales are sent directly to local bishops in the mission territories.

Despite the name change, Mission said its mission of the last 70 years - "To be a Christian is to be a missionary" - remains unchanged.

Pope Benedict drew attention to the importance of mission and the work of Missio in his message for World Mission Sunday last year, expressing his appreciation of the agency's work.


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